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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 15, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Friday, February 19, 1974 THE LETHMIDQE HERALD 9 U.S. loads gun aimed at Canada Blackwell By PETER BUCKLEY WASHINGTON (CP) An American environmentalist urged the Canadian government Thursday not to relax its opposition to a North Dakota irrigation project, saying the United States is stalling while pushing ahead with the scheme. Brent Blackwell, a researcher with the Washington-based En- vironmental Policy Centre and a long-standing opponent of the so-called Garrison division project in North Dakota, said in an interview: "In its own the United States is just loading the gun pointed at Canada while saying, 'Don't worry, we're not firing it'." He accused the interior de- partment, whose bureau of reclamation is responsible for the project, of delaying a scheduled report for Congress about the project while pushing ahead with work at the scene. And he said, the department's plan to start expropriating property in North Dakota for a reservoir which would form part of the Garrison scheme indicates the U.S. plans to push on despite opposition from Ottawa. "They want to delay this thing until they reach a point of no Blackwell said. "Then they'll go to Congress and tell them that they wouldn't want to lose all the money that has already been sunk into Garrison, so they should keep spending. "Environmentalists in the U.S. know this type of game. We've had it played on us be- fore." ASKED MORATORIUM The Canadian government asked last fall for a moratorium on all further work on the project, contending it would damage the Souris and Red rivers flowing into Manitoba. The U.S. replied last week that current work will not affect Canada and that it will live up to its treaty obligations in any future work. Blackwell said although the million which the interior department seeks for Garrison in its budget for the next fiscal year is lower than the current year's, the sum includes million to begin land expropriation for a section called the Lonetree Reservoir. Blackwell said his contacts with Canadian authorities lead him to believe Canada is "somewhat satisfied" with the U.S. reply last week to its protest. "They really don't seem to realize the U.S. agencies are going ahead with business as usual. It's a typical tactic for these water-development agencies." The name of the project comes from the Garrison Dam across the Missouri River at Lake Sakak- wea origin of much of the water that would even- tually feed the irrigation sys- tem. The dam itself is named after a nearby town. Indians haggle over treaty money split In Ottawa, an external affairs department spokesman said Thursday the government is satisfied with U.S. assurances that any construction that would affect Canada will be discussed with the Canadian government first. Construction would not be complete for several years, the spokesman said. Discussions with the U.S. government "will reveal any differences long before construction becomes a fait accompli in the sense described by Mr. Blackwell." West premiers meet behind closed doors REGINA (CP) The theme of the western premiers' economic uinfetcnce Feb. Z7-B will be western regional development and progress since last summer's federal provincial conference on western economic opportunities. In a news release today, Saskatchewan Premier Allan Blakeney said be and the three other western premiers will evaluate the tangible results "if any" of federal promises made last summer. The premiers' meeting, to take place in Saskatoon mainly behind closed doors, will also discuss communications, health costs, and provincial management of natural CALGARY (CP) The problem of how to distribute in ammunition money awarded by the federal government almost a year ago to Treaty No. 7 Indians remained unresolved following a recent meeting to try and settle it. Since the claim was settled verbally by the five southern Alberta tribes and the federal government last March, the Indians have hot been able to decide whether the money should be distributed on a per capita basis or split evenly five ways. Meanwhile the money has sat in Ottawa with in accrued interest going to the federal government. The settlement is considered a historic precedent since it was the first claim by Indians against the federal government to be settled out of court. Dr. Lloyd Barber of the Federal Claims Commission told chiefs and council members of the five tribes the federal government cannot turn over the money until each of them signs the settlement. So far the chiefs and councils have refused to sign until the distribution question is settled. Although there was no agreement on distribution, Dr. Barber said he would recommend to the government that a form be drafted proposing that the money be put into a trust fund. The proposal would then be sent to each chief and band council for signatures. Last spring a meeting was held and a vote taken which decided that the money be split five ways. But the vote was later declared invalid because of technicalities by the Bloods and the Blackfoot who wanted the money distributed on a per capita basis. The smaller tribes, the Stoney, Sarcee and Peigan, want the money split so that each trib received Clarence McHugh, a former Blackfoot chief who instigated the claim for back payments in ammunition money promised in the treaty about 15 years ago, told the meeting the money should be distributed on a per capita basis. TRIBES WALK OUT This would give to the Peigans, to the Sarcee, to the Stoneys, to the Bloods, and to the Blackfoot. A per capita distribution would mean about for each treaty Indian. When no agreement could be reached on whether the meeting was even legal since Stoney Chief Frank Kaquitts did not bring his band council, the Peigan and Sarcee contingents walked out. Treaty No. 7 was signed in 1877 and the consists of in back payments for ammunition money promised in the treaty and a penalty levied on the Indian affairs department for not living up to the treaty. Crowfoot Born a Blood. Became a Blackfoot Buried a Statesm Crowfoot, born a Blood Indian, became the acknowledged spokesman of the whole Blackfoot Nation, which included the Bloods, Peigans, andSarcees. He was a man who future of Alberta in the palm of his hand. But he forpaw that the Indian culture of the Plains could not ultimately withstand the impact of the white man. He knew that his way of life was over, yet he attempted to salvage what he could. Having satisfied himself that the arrival of the Mounties meant that his people would be protected, from themselves and from others, he signed along with his fellow Chiefs, Treaty Number Seven in 1877, thus ending, to a great extent, the fears and suspicions that had prevailed between Indian and white man. Alberta was opened to peaceful settlement Crowfoot led his people onto the reserves. He himself passed into history as the Peacemaker. The Father of his people. From our proud post, the promise of our future. ALBERTA-R.C.M.P. CENTURY CELEBRATIONS COMMITTEE, P.O. BOX 1974, EDMONTON, ALBERTA. T5J 2P4 ;