FAQ: The Treaty Annuities Settlement, Legacy Trust, and the Per Capita Distribution

Below is a list of frequently asked questions regarding the Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation Treaty Annuities Settlement, the Legacy Trust, and the Per Capita Distribution:

Why were we awarded money?
  • A Claim was filed with the Specific Claims Tribunal in 2011. It alleged that the Crown had breached its Treaty obligations when in 1885, Treaty Annuity payments were withheld from every man, woman, and child of the Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation for a period of 4 years. In his ruling on May 6, 2015, Justice Harry Slade of the Specific Claims Tribunal found that “the Crown breached its lawful obligation to pay treaty annuities to the Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation”. Our specific claim was successful.
How much money were we awarded?
  • The Compensation Amount awarded to the Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation was $4.5 million dollars.
How was the $4.5 million figure decided?
  • Justice Slade of the Specific Claims Tribunal explains his decision in the Compensation Decision here. The Government of Canada and the Council of the Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation agreed that the amount was appropriate. Both parties did not seek Judicial Review of the decision.
How can I access more information about the Treaty Annuities Specific Claim?
  • You can view the Settlement Decision here.
  • You can view the Compensation Decision here.
What is being done with the money?
  • Council has released a statement that details the plan moving forward. There are two primary elements to our plan: 1) the Legacy Trust; and 2) the Per Capita Distribution. Continue reading below to find out more.

What is the Legacy Trust?
  • The Legacy Trust is the instrument selected by the Council of the Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation to guarantee a prosperous and sustainable future for the next 7 generations. The Legacy Trust Agreement was signed by Council on February 6, 2017 with the Royal Trust Corporation of Canada, an affiliate of the Royal Bank of Canada.
Who will manage the Legacy Trust?
  • The Legacy Trust will be managed by a professional Trustee with the Royal Trust Corporation of Canada.
How much money will be deposited into the Legacy Trust?
  • Initially, $4.5 million dollars will be deposited into the Legacy Trust. The Government of Canada will also be reimbursing legal fees for the settlement and these funds will be deposited into the Trust then used to repay the loan that was taken with the First Nations Bank of Canada to finance the legal costs of the settlement, start to finish.
  • Council has also approved an annual allocation of 25% of business profits from Willow Cree Developments and its affiliated entities to be transferred to the Legacy Trust to ensure on-going growth of the Trust and subsequently, increased benefits to the Nation.
  • Additionally, all SIGA Trust dollars – approximately $1 million – will be deposited into the Legacy Trust annually.
Are there reporting requirements for the Legacy Trust?
  • Yes. The professional Trustee must provide an annual report to the members of the Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation. In addition, an audit will be conducted on a yearly basis.
Are the funds separate from day-to-day operations?
  • Yes. The Legacy Trust is a completely separate account managed by a professional Trustee with the Royal Trust Corporation of Canada. The Nation’s primary banking institution is the First Nations Bank of Canada.
Who has access to the Legacy Trust?
  • The professional trustee with the Royal Trust Corporation of Canada has administrative access to the Legacy Trust.
  • Best-in-class, professional Investment Managers may be retained by the Trust to manage investments.
  • The membership of the Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation – through the provisions contained in the DRAFT Financial Management Act and the Legacy Trust Agreement – have access to the Legacy Trust. A referendum must first be called among the electors of the Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation with a plan presented from Council. A simple majority – 50% + 1 of all electors of the Nation – is required to authorize the plan and withdraw funds from the Legacy Trust.
  • Access to the Trust is legally restricted and very, very limited.
Are there fees associated with the Trust?
  • Fees for the Trustee and the Investment Managers will be paid using interest generated by the Trust. These fees are not expected to exceed 0.75% of the annual Trust balance.
What safeguards have been established to protect the Legacy Trust?
  • There are many safety mechanisms in place to protect the Legacy Trust:

– In accordance with the Legacy Trust Agreement and the DRAFT Financial Management Act, in order to withdraw from the Legacy Trust, a referendum must first be called among the electors of the Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation with a plan presented from Council. A simple majority – 50% + 1 of all electors of the Nation – is required to authorize the plan and withdraw funds from the Legacy Trust.

– The DRAFT Financial Management Act contains provisions to protect the Legacy Trust. If the DRAFT Financial Management Act passes at referendum, those provisions will become the law of our Nation.

– The professional Trustee has a legal obligation and duty to execute the provisions of the Legacy Trust Agreement.

If we can’t access the Legacy Trust, how does it benefit our Nation?
  • Due to the structure of the Legacy Trust, the Nation is authorized to finance up to 25% of the value of the Trust annually. This means that we could borrow up to $1,112,500.00 in the first year for specific development purposes at the discretion of Council and in accordance with the terms of the Legacy Trust Agreement.
  • An annual payment of 4% of the value of the trust on December 31st of each fiscal year shall be paid to the Nation. The 4% Annual Interest Payout to the Nation will increase yearly and these funds can be used to enhance priority areas such as Public Works, Housing, Youth, Recreation, Public Safety, Business Development, and Community Development to name a few.
  • The benefit in both scenarios is that the value of the Legacy Trust does not diminish and will continue to generate interest at an ever-increasing rate.
  • See an example of anticipated Legacy Trust revenue projections here.
How long will the Legacy Trust last? Does it expire?
  • In accordance with Article 15.1 of the Legacy Trust Agreement, the Trust is intended to remain in perpetuity for the long-term use and benefit of the Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation. It does not expire.
How can I get more information on the Legacy Trust?
  • You can view the Legacy Trust Agreement (unsigned) here.

What is the Per Capita Distribution?
  • The Per Capita Distribution (PCD) is the method Council has selected to distribute a portion of the settlement funds to all registered members of the Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation.
How much will each person receive for the Per Capita Distribution?
  • The Per Capita Distribution is a one-time, $250 payment in Canadian dollars.
Who is eligible to receive the Per Capita Distribution?
  • All registered members (or those who ought to be registered) of the Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation are eligible to receive the Per Capita Distribution.
What about my children / youth who are under 18, will they receive a Per Capita Distribution payment?
  • All children / youth registered as members of the Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation who are under the age of 18 years old will receive the Per Capita Distribution payment. The Per Capita Distribution payment will be made to the primary care provider.
I have a unique family situation, are we still eligible?
  • If the parent(s) and child(ren) are members of the Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation, they will be eligible to receive the Per Capita Distribution payment. Guidelines are being developed by Council to ensure that all children / youth under the age of 18 who are registered members of the Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation benefit from the Per Capita Distribution payment. These guidelines will be distributed soon. If you require additional information, or need to speak with a representative, please contact our toll-free line at 1-888-BEARDY4 (232-7394).
Is there a deadline on the Per Capita Distribution?
  • Yes. In order to be eligible, individuals must be registered members of the Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation by February 15, 2017 to qualify to receive the Per Capita Distribution.
Where will the Per Capita Distribution payments be made?
  • The Per Capita Distribution payments will be made at the Rec Centre of the Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation on Thursday, March 2, 2017 to Friday, March 3, 2017, beginning 10:00am each day.
I cannot make it on those dates, or I live too far away. Am I still eligible?
  • If you are a registered member of the Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation and are not able to make the dates or live too far away, alternate arrangements can be made to ensure you receive your Per Capita Distribution payment. Please contact our toll-free line at 1-888-BEARDY4 (232-7394) to speak with a representative who can assist you.
Can I have my payment mailed?
  • If you’d like your payment mailed, please send your name, treaty number, date of birth, address, and phone number to jasna.eyahpaise@beardysband.com.
    NOTE: Only the primary caregiver can make requests on behalf of dependents.
I still have questions, who can I contact?
  • An information session will be conducted on Thursday, March 2, 2017 at the Rec Centre beginning at 10:00am. (Lunch will be provided). You can also contact our toll-free line at 1-888-BEARDY4 (232-7394) to speak with a representative who can assist you.
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