Judge orders land dispute involving former Alberta chief back to Square 1


CALGARY — A federal judge has sent a land dispute between two families on Canada’s largest First Nation back to Square 1.

Justice Michael Manson did not overturn a decision that transferred land from former Blood Tribe chief Harley Frank to another family.

But in a 29-page ruling, Manson noted that the process used by the Blood Tribe, which included a rejection from an appeal board, wasn’t fair to the Frank family.

“The applicants were denied procedural fairness,” wrote Manson.

“Given the decision that the appeal tribunal’s decision was procedurally unfair, it is not necessary to consider whether the decision was reasonable or not. It would be wrong to go on to speculate what the outcome would otherwise have been.”

The dispute on the Blood reserve, home to 12,500 people in southwestern Alberta, involves 600 hectares of prime agricultural land allocated to the Frank family in 1960.

Although band members can’t own property outright, they can have it allocated to them with the approval of the chief and council.

Frank’s father staked a claim nearly 60 years ago and had two years to make improvements on the undeveloped property near the St. Mary Reservoir.

Earlier this year, Frank was informed that the band’s land dispute panel had awarded all but two hectares of the property to a family with adjacent land. Frank said the decision was based on evidence of a hand-drawn map and was approved by the chief and council.

His request for an appeal was rejected.

Manson ordered the appeal panel to reconsider the case and ordered that the chief and council send it back to the original land panel for a new hearing.

He said ideally no one who took part in the original hearing would be part of the new one. But he also said he couldn’t order that because he has to respect the Blood Tribe’s …read more

Source:: Usa latest news

      

(Visited 4 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *