[S.I.S.I.S. note: The following mainstream news article may contain biased or distorted information and may be missing pertinent facts and/or context. It is provided for reference only.]
Prince George - The McLeod Lake Indian Band has signed an agreement-in-principle and is close to settling a 99 year old land claim with the provincial and federal governments. The 387-member band, based near the north end of McLeod Lake about 150 kilometres north of Prince George, signed the tentative agreement last week to accept the terms of Treaty No.8.
Negotiator Andrew Schuck said the agreement, which sees the band get 19,800 hectares of land and about $20 million, is a good one for the band and a final agreement could be reached by the fall. "We think it's a good deal and we're going to recommend it to the band members," Schuck said. "There will be a referendum held in the fall, a ratification vote." Treaty No. 8 was originally signed in 1899 and covers a portion of northern BC and Alberta. It involves a number of other bands, including seven in BC.
Two others originally included in Treaty No. 8, the Tsay Kay Dene and Fort Ware bands, are currently in the BC treaty negotiation process and are trying to reach deals under new terms. Schuck said the deal involves $9.3 million from the federal government, about $10 million from the province for stumpage for trees cut on the land and about $2 million for court costs from Canada and the province.