In 2010, Bigstone Cree Nation successfully negotiated the settlement of the Bigstone Cree Nation Treaty Land Entitlement Claim with the Government of Canada. The settlement addressed issues relating to our nation’s land entitlements, agricultural benefits, and governance. This successful settlement resulted in the addition of 140,000 acres of reserve land, cash compensation, and the creation of a new First Nation community at Peerless and Trout Lake.
To manage the funds secured from this settlement, Bigstone Cree Nation, through the council of our Elders and Communities, set up a series of protected trusts. The trusts are free from both federal and provincial government involvement and are accessible through democratic methods of community voting (excluding The Children’s Trust, which is automatically presented to members who were under the age of 18 at the time of the settlement). These trusts allow our members to access funds for a variety of different purposes, and have been designed to provide for our communities and children, both on and off reserve.
Looking after the Trusts is a great opportunity and responsibility. Advisors from the financial institutions that hold the trusts are available to provide recommendations for investment. A Board of Trustees manages compensation for each respective trust. Chief and Council serve as the Trustees for each trust along with one independent Trustee for the Nation Trust and one Member at Large for the Off Reserve Members’ and Affiliates’ Trust. The independent Trustee acts in an advisory role and is not a member of the nation, thus reducing any potential risk of bias or conflicts of interest. The Independent Trustee is well qualified to serve on the Nation Trust.
All Trustees are bound to act in accordance with the terms of the Trust Agreements and must always act in the best interests of all of the beneficiaries.
To learn more about Bigstone Cree Nation’s available trusts and how to access funds, please visit the links listed below:
To view the BCN Trust Handbook & Guidelines, click here.
To view the BCN Trust Proposal Application, click here.