To: Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation Membership
From: Chief and Council
Date: May 16, 2017
THUNDER BAY, ON— Boozhoo Members! Your Chief and Council would like to take this opportunity to provide an update on where we are regarding the signing off of the Settlement Agreement documents. Firstly, we would like to say that significant progress has been made to date! Regrettably, we still have to contend with both Ontario and Canada’s internal processes, and as we are all aware, they can be quite extensive and time consuming.
Your Chief and Council have signed off on all of the Settlement Agreement documents. They were then sent to Ontario. Unfortunately, there was a delay with the Treasury Board, as Ontario’s budget came out that same week in April, and we were rescheduled to the next Treasury Board session. However, we are pleased to report that the documents have now passed through the Treasury Board and subsequently passed through Cabinet.
Late last week, Minister Zimmer signed off on behalf of the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. Yesterday, Minister McGarry signed off on behalf of the Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry. The documents were then couriered this morning to Ottawa. It is our understanding that they have been reviewed by Canada and have been forwarded to Minister Bennett’s office for sign off as the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs. We are optimistic that this final step will be concluded this week. This is the final required signature.
We recognize that both of these governments have large bureaucracies with multiple layers of policies and procedures that they must adhere to. The First Nation has tried their very best to assist where they can to expedite these processes for our members. We would like to thank everyone involved for their dedication and commitment in seeing this positively concluded.
Your Chief and Council also acknowledge that their members have patiently waited a long time for this settlement, and for closure and healing to take place. As mentioned in previous communications, we have made financial arrangements whereby the First Nation will be able to disburse the member’s portions first, which will significantly reduce the waiting period for payout to our members. Barring no other glitches from Canada, members can expect this to occur in short order. In our last FAQ it was stated, “if all goes well, we are optimistically looking towards this happening sometime around the second week of May 2017.” We are now just entering the middle of the month, and are not that far off from reaching our goal, despite the two (2) week delay with the Treasury Board. We are pushing on to the finish line!
If you have provided the Band Administration office with your pertinent and up-to-date banking information and required identification, we are optimistic that the member’s portions will be deposited with relative ease. Your Chief and Council remain committed to advancing the First Nation and bettering the lives of our membership. Miigwetch! For more information on the Flood Claim Settlement process (including backgrounders and FAQs), please visit the LDMLFN website at www.lacdesmillelacsfirstnation.ca
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