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Left out of deal

Paul Bickford
Northern News Services

Fort Resolution (Dec 18/06) - Some members of Deninu Ku'e First Nation (DKFN) are upset with the band for not including them when money was recently handed out.

The band distributed funds received from the territorial government in a recent compensation deal for the community hosting a captive bison herd. However, the money only went to band members living in Fort Resolution.
NNSL Photo/graphic

The last of the captive bison herd in Fort Resolution was shipped to Alberta for slaughter in March. - NNSL file photo

Delores Mandeville, a DKFN member living in Yellowknife, strongly objects to excluding band members living outside Fort Resolution.

"This is total unfairness to us," she said, noting she lived in Fort Resolution for two years while the bison ranch existed.

According to a spokesperson for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, DKFN received $240,000 in compensation, while $160,000 went to the Fort Resolution Metis Council.

Despite repeated attempts, Chief Robert Sayine could not be reached for comment.

Mandeville has been told by relatives and friends in Fort Resolution that band members living there each received $800 in early December.

She said, as a single mother of two, $2,400 would have been a significant amount of money for her family. "It would help out at Christmas."

Mandeville estimated there are about 250 to 300 band members living outside Fort Resolution who will not receive any money. They are in such places as Yellowknife, Hay River, Edmonton and Vancouver.

As of Dec. 14, she had gathered the signatures of 20 band members living in Yellowknife for a petition to send to DKFN.

The captive bison herd was established in 1996 in an effort to preserve a South Slave herd free of tuberculosis and brucellosis.

The herd of about 130 bison was held in a corral on the edge of Fort Resolution.

The last of the bison were shipped to Alberta for slaughter in March after tuberculosis was discovered in the herd last year.