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Cote First Nation ratifies land settlement
Members of the Cote First Nation are eligible to receive $20,000 each as part of a comprehensive land claim settlement valued at $130 million. The settlement was reached between the First Nation and the federal government last fall and has been ratified by band members. The deal also includes provisions for the band to purchase 15-thousand acres of land to add to the reserve. A portion of the settlement money will go into a trust fund to ensure there is an ongoing source of revenue for the band. Band members between the ages of 18 and 65 will can receive either an annual payment, for 16 years, of $1,500 or a one-time lump-sum payment of $20,000. Elders will have the option of receiving $1,500 per year for 20 years, or a one-time lump-sum payment of $25,000. Children under the age of 18 will be eligible for a lump-sum payment of $20,000 when they turn 18, or they can choose to receive an annual payment that is adjusted depending on their current age, once they turn 18. There are about 3,500 members of the band, with about three-quarters living off-reserve. The settlement dates back to 1905 when the band was essentially forced to surrender a large portion of reserve-land back to the government.
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