RCMP on hand to help Cote First Nation as members receive cash payouts
A massive financial boost is befalling a Saskatchewan First Nation right now as members of the Cote First Nation, just north east of Yorkton, are receiving checks worth $20,000 as part of a land claim settlement between the First Nation and the federal government.
Members can alternatively choose to receive checks for $1,500 a year for 16 years.
Staff Sgt. Greg Nichol with the nearby Kamsack RCMP said they have been working closely with chief and council on the Cote First Nation for the past few months in anticipation of this payout.
“They’ve kind of given us their blessing to take whatever steps we need to do to address any crime issues that might pop up,” said Nichol.
He said it’s hard to predict what could happen with a large sum of money dropping into the community so rapidly.
“We do what we can do to prepare for it. We’ve got bodies on here, we’re making ourselves visible on the Cote and we’ve done that throughout the whole process and we’ve had nothing but co-operation,” said Nichol.
The majority of the approximately 3,500 band members live off reserve, some traveling from other provinces in order to pick up the checks in person. Chief and council decided against sending checks by mail and are still deciding what will be done for people who are unable to pick up their payments.
Nichol said the band has been keeping the RCMP updated as much as possible and working with the division on crime initiatives.
“When there is a lot of money, I guess it could go hand in hand that there could be, there’s potential for people to move into the area to try to take advantage of some of our local residents and we’re following up any tips that would come up in that regard for sure,” said Nichol.
The Kamsack RCMP have already delivered a workshop to elders on reducing their chances of being victimized by crime or being taken advantage of when they receive their payouts. Elders are eligible to receive a lump sum of $25,000 or that amount paid out over several years.
The total land claim settlement is valued at $130 million in exchange for land that was promised to members over 100 years ago.
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