The Specific Claims Tribunal heard the final arguments in the Beardy’s & Okemasis claim regarding the wrongful withholding of annuities by the federal government. “Finally, after 14 years of waiting since we first filed our claim, our position that the Government of Canada was clearly in breach of its duties by punishing selected First Nations through the withholding of funds owed will be heard by the Tribunal. We are very confident of our position on this issue and we are of the view that the decision on the Beardy’s & Okemasis claim will impact the claims of the other 13 First Nations who also had annuities withheld,” said Chief Rick Gamble. Following the 1885 Riel Rebellion, Canada instituted several measures to control and punish 14 First Nations labelled as “rebel bands”. One of those measures was to withhold Treaty annuities from every man, woman and child in the band from 1885 to 1889 even though, in some cases, only a few, or perhaps none, of those band members may have actually participated in Riel Rebellion activities. In 2000, Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation filed Specific Claims with the Canada alleging the government breached its lawful obligations. In 2008, the Specific Claims Tribunal was formed with the power to make binding decisions on Specific Claims, which cannot be settled through negotiations.