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Seton Lake Band resolves land cut-off

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The St-at-imc Seton Lake Band, provincial government and federal government have signed an agreement in principle that would restore parcels of land that were cut from band territory more than 90 years ago.

The land controversy dates back to the McKenna-McBride commission of 1913-16, and involves 12.8 hectares of land and a financial settlement of $600,000. The province will provide the land, and the federal government will provide the money.

The final say over the deal went to members of the band, with more than 80 per cent of eligible voters casting ballots in approval of the settlement.

The two parcels that were cut from the Seton Lake Band fall on the north shore of Lake Seton, the 22-acre Reserve No. 3 and 27-acre- Reserve No. 4. The deal restores 31.6 acres (12.8 ha), and the money will compensate for the difference — some of the land is in use by Crown corporations or private landowners and was not available to be restored to the band.

The negotiations over the land have been going on for more than 30 years. The agreement leaves only three of 22 original cut-off claims from First Nations that resulted from the McKenna-McBride commission.

The Seton Lake Band consists of 615 St-at-imc people living on eight reserves on the north shore of Seton Lake, near Shalalth, approximately 20 km northwest of Lillooet.

The settlement over the cut-off lands is not related to the St-at-imc’s treaty negotiations with the province, which are still ongoing.

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