Sask. First Nation sees historic land claim payout increased to $141M

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Mosquito-Grizzly Bear Head-Lean Man First Nation's chief and council is pleased with the final settlement of $141 million. (Josh Greschner - image credit)
Mosquito-Grizzly Bear Head-Lean Man First Nation's chief and council is pleased with the final settlement of $141 million. (Josh Greschner - image credit)

The final chapter of a land claim dating back more than 100 years has finally been closed.

On Monday, the Mosquito-Grizzly Bear's Head-Lean Man First Nation announced a final settlement with the federal government for $141 million, plus interest.

In January, the Specific Land Claims Tribunal gave the First Nation a $121 million settlement, acknowledging that the surrender of the land was invalid and that the Crown had breached its duties to the First Nation.

The increase in the settlement money came from the passage of time since the land was appraised in 2017, as well as loss of use stemming from the time of the appraisal.

The settlement came after decades of advocacy by the First Nation's members over 5,800 hectares of reserve land taken by the federal government in the Battlefords area in 1905.

"The award of $141 million is a huge success for the Mosquito-Grizzly Bear's Head and Lean Man First Nation," read a statement from Chief Tanya Aguilar-Antiman.

"Our people have been seeking a fair and just settlement for the unlawful taking of our lands for more than 26 years."

The land claim was started back in the 1990s and the First Nation spent decades negotiating with the government.

"Although the facts in this claim were egregious, the Chief and Council are proud that Canada and the First Nation have taken a meaningful step toward reconciliation, as reflected in the agreement of the parties," said Chief Aguilar-Antiman.

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