Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Northwest First Nation reaches compensation settlement with Federal Government after half a century

Fifty years ago the government changed the flow of the Bulkley River and with it the economic and cultural purpose for the village of Hagwilget. From a thriving fishery based economy in the late 1950's the village in the late 1950's, fell on hard times after the plentiful salmon stocks of the area suddenly no longer were within the grasp of local fishers.

Now with just days to go before the case was to go to trial, a settlement for compensation has been agreed to by the Federal Government which will see 21.5 million dollars transferred to the small village located between Terrace and Smithers.

The court case which was originally started back in 1985 was delayed through the years as treaty negotiations took place, but with no settlement in place through the treaty process it was back to the court room, a trip now avoided as the Federal Government draws up the transfer details.

Mark Hume of the Globe and Mail outlines the story, tracing back to those early days of 1959 when the "Government people" arrived to move boulders out of the Bulkley and changed the future of an entire community.
Interior News-- Suit settled for $21.5M
CTVBC News-- Aboriginals win $21 million fishery settlement

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