Flood Claim Update: August 21, 2012

Hello band members, I hope you had a memorable summer and offer my best wishes to the students returning to school, to our members returning to work, to our families preparing for the fall and to our Elders who are preparing for winter. I also offer my condolences to the many members who lost family this summer, who were band members, elected leaders and committed community builders, all of whom will be dearly missed and remembered by Muscowpetung Saulteaux First Nation.

I am pleased to advise that the Muscowpetung Flood Easement Survey was finally completed on August 13, 2012. This was a very complex two year process, that involved historic research, field work, defining boundaries and Ordinary High Water Marks, flood elevations, beds and shores, marshlands, Easement boundaries and Reserve Boundaries. All of which had to be scrutinized and acceptable to several departments in both the Governments of Saskatchewan and Canada, the Surveyor’s General Branch and Muscowpetung Saulteaux First Nation.

We have posted on this webpage the end result of this survey process titled: Flood Easement Map 1 and Flood Easement Map 2. These Easement Lands are the principal issue in this claim – therefore the maps are important to understand. We will be bringing large copies of these maps to the Information Meetings to explain the Settlement Agreement that was reached in order for Canada/Saskatchewan to be authorized to flood our reserve lands within the Easement boundary on an annual permanent basis.

We will be initialing the Settlement Agreements at the Health Centre at 11:00 on August 22, 2012. What this means is that the negotiator from the Government of Saskatchewan, the negotiator from the Government of Canada and I will initial each page of the Settlement Documents, so that all parties can have FINAL, conclusive and consistent copies of the documents to bring back to their governments, to complete their own respective internal processes needed to get authorized to execute the Agreement.

Our own internal process needed is called “Ratification”, which is governed by the Indian Referendum Regulations. We are working with our INAC Ratification Officer Tracy Dejarlais and our consultants to schedule this process in the near future. Once we have our ratification team scheduled, we will call a ratification vote that will include mailing out a full settlement package to your address on file. We are working to call this vote before August 31, 2012. Please keep checking back, as we will post a full Ratification information package under a separate tab on this website soon.

In summary – a positive ratification vote is needed from membership to authorize Chief and Council to sign the Settlement Agreements on behalf of Muscowpetung Saulteaux First Nation.

After months of consideration, hearing presentations, service proposals and investment management proposals, we have chosen Peace Hills Trust Company, Trust Services Division, to be our Corporate Trustee.

On August 15, 2012 we were advised that our Investment Manager had taken a position with another company and that a new Investment Manager would need to be chosen.

We are scheduled to finalize these Trust and Investment Agreements by August 29, 2012. Once finalized, we will post all Trust Agreements on our website and mail you out a full copy with the Settlement Package.

We have posted as of today’s date the FINAL copies of the Settlement Documents. Please note, that there have been some changes from the previous documents that have been posted on here. Please read these documents and contact our office with any questions or issues you have. We will also have the ratification team present, including our legal counsel, at the information meetings to answer any questions you may have. We can be contacted toll free at 1-866-848-4747, or directly at 1-306-723-4747.

Migwetch,

Chief Todd Cappo

Anin Kinawiya, Tawâw, Welcome

February 24, 2012

Chief and Council had this site developed to assist the Flood Claim negotiation team in the distribution of information and documents concerning the Muscowpetung Flood Claim settlement, settlement documents, upcoming information meetings, contact information, status of the settlement, the ratification process, the ratification vote, the results of the ratification vote and if the vote is successful, when the settlement money will be paid by Canada into the Muscowpetung Legacy Trust.

We have tried test runs with newsletters, but are finding our membership address list to be outdated as several of the newsletters have been returned and we are getting reports from membership that they are not receiving their newsletter or mail from the Band. We are hopeful this webpage can assist us with information sharing between the band office and you.

We have chosen the web domain “muscowpetungtrust.com”, so that after the ratification vote, this website can be used for the flow of information concerning the Muscowpetung Legacy Trust to you. As described in the Trust Agreement, you will be privy to the following information once the Muscowpetung Legacy Trust is in operation:

  1. A downloadable copy of the Muscowpetung Legacy Trust;
  2. Annual Audits;
  3. Annual reporting by the Trustee, including financial statements, performance of the investments, securities, bonds, funds and assets, including performance of the investment advisor;
  4. Trust financial sheets and balance sheets, as per the trust agreement;
  5. Location and time of the annual meeting between the membership, Trustee and investment advisor; and
  6. Any future documents and reports concerning the Muscowpetung Legacy Trust.

It is important to note, that the Muscowpetung Legacy Trust has been drafted so that it can be used as a Trust for other deposits that Muscowpetung may wish to add to the Trust funds in the future. In particular, we have done some future planning for the eventual settlement of the 1909 Specific Claim, regarding the illegal surrender of 17,600 acres of Muscowpetung farmland. This claim has been estimated, as compared to other specific claims of equal land value, to be well over 100 million dollars.

We are hopeful that over the next couple of years, the membership will be satisfied with the terms, operation and benefit of the Muscowpetung Legacy Trust; and choose to simply deposit the 1909 Specific Claim settlement funds into the Legacy Trust. We are hopeful that our Trust planning and development over the last couple of years, will have the long-term positive results that are projected.

I expect this website and web domain, to be part of your life and operational for a very, very long time. So please Bookmark. We will be updating the website with the information meeting package, document summaries, power point presentations, survey and survey reports and other updates as they become available.

There is a short summary of the downloadable documents below. We will be scheduling information meetings to meet with you personally (with our negotiation team, trustee, lawyer and financial advisor) to answer any questions you may have on the settlement documents on this website. Please check back, to look for updates and the scheduling of information meetings near you.

Below please find a review and summary of the RATIFICATION PROCESS. Ratification simply means that band membership will be asked to VOTE – yes or no – on whether they accept the Settlement Package and the Muscowpetung Legacy Trust Agreement. This vote is held pursuant to strict rules and procedures set out in federal legislation cited as the Indian Referendum Regulations, a copy of which can be found on this link: ( http://laws.justice.gc.ca/PDF/C.R.C.,_c._957.pdf ). Indian Affairs will be conducting our Flood Claim ratification vote in accordance with these rules, procedures and requirements. INAC regional office has appointed Tracy Desjarlais as our Electoral Officer in charge of this vote.

The Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs cannot accept or agree to the Settlement; and Canada cannot pay out any settlement funds, until Canada is satisfied that a proper ratification vote has occurred in accordance with the Regulations and that Muscowpetung membership has voted in favor. Muscowpetung First Nation needs a double majority vote result for the vote to pass. This means that 50% plus 1 members have to vote and 50% plus 1 voters have to vote in favor of the ballot question. This is in more detail on the Ratification summary on this website.

Just so it is clear – Muscowpetung First Nation has not received ANY of the 30.6 Million Dollar settlement funds. It is impossible to get an advance of these funds, as Canada has no authority to release the funds until the Agreements have been ratified and passed by Muscowpetung; and accepted and approved by both Saskatchewan and Canada.  We will not receive any of the funds until that process is complete.

If you have any questions or concerns, our Toll free number is: 1-866-848-4747. Our band office landline is: 1.306.723.4747. Again, please check back for upcoming information meetings as this is where we will have our technical advisors on hand to answer your questions on the Flood Claim or Legacy Trust.

Migwetch,

Chief Todd Cappo