Office of Chief and Council
Government of Siksika Nation
P.O. Box 1100 Siksika, AB T0J 3W0 | (403) 734-5109 | Toll Free 1-800-551-5724 | www.siksikanation.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 17, 2021
Siksika Nation members accept the Global Settlement Agreement
Siksika Nation members vote in favour of the Siksika Nation Global Settlement Agreement that will include a one-time payment of 1.3 Billion dollars and will discontinue all filed court actions relating to the settlement.
Approximatley 70% of eligible voters turned out to the polls on December 16th and 17th, 2021 in Siksika and Calgary as well as a number of mail-in ballots from Nation members who could not vote in-person. Of those who responded to the referendum question, approximately 77% voted yes.
The official results of the referendum are:
- 5041 electors were entitled to vote in the referendum;
- 3484 electors voted in the referendum;
- 2682 electors voted in favour of the question submitted in the referendum;
- 802 electors voted against the question submitted in the referendum and
- 28 ballots were rejected.
The decision to accept the settlement will also include the option to apply for up 115,000 acres of land purchased by the Nation that can be added to the reserve anywhere in Alberta.
Siksika Nation Chief Ouray Crowfoot is pleased with the voter turnout and sees this as a tremendous opportunity to improve the lives of Nation members but at the same time acknowledges the decision was not an easy one and does not replace what has been lost as a result of this settlement,
“This settlement is not reconciliation. We will never be restored to the same as before these breaches took place. We lost almost half of our landbase and access to ceremonial sites and our connection to the land. One thing the settlement can provide is opportunities. Financial opportunities that can open many doors for our people and be a move towards financial sovereignty. Opportunities that can help remove barriers, build capacity and provide services to help better the standard of life for all our People.”
Siksika Nation Chief and Council would like to recognize the efforts made by all Nation members who played a huge role in one of the longest running land claims in Canadian history. A historic settlement that represents Nation members of the past, present and future generations to come.
“This claim has been in the system for over sixty years, six decades. There have been many Chiefs, Councils, Nation members and technicians who have played a critical part along the way. The current Chief and Council would like to thank all those who assisted on this case over the years and thank all Siksika Nation members for providing their voice with this referendum. The future is bright for Siksika.”
SUMMARY OF CLAIMS:
The Global Settlement Agreement includes the following claims;
- 1910 Surrender and 1960 Petition of Right Claims: Unlawful surrender of 115,000 acres of reserve land and breach of Canada’s fiduciary duties related to the reserve lands.
- CPR: Breaches of duty in taking reserve land for use by third parties in connection with the Canadian Pacific Railway.
- CLUNY: Flooding of and release of sewage onto the reserve without Siksika’s permission.
- BRID AND CREOSOTE: Unlawful taking of approximately 500 acres of the reserve for the Bow River Irrigation Project. Related creosote contamination claims.
- The proposed settlement is a global settlement that will cover all the claims identified above.
- A one-time payment of 1,300, 000, 000 (one billion and three hundred million dollars) will be made to the Nation in 2022.
- In exchange for the compensation, Siksika will discontinue all filed court actions related to the claims and release Canada from all liability related to the claims.
- The settlement ratification will include a new surrender of the lands subject to the 1910 surrender to provide certainty.
- Siksika is entitled to apply for up to 115,000 acres of land purchased by Siksika to be added to reserve.
- The use of the settlement funds is not addressed in the proposed settlement agreement with Canada and will be determined solely by Siksika Nation.