We are frequently contacted regarding a Cows and Plows Payment to members. The Sawridge First Nation has not submitted a Cows and Plows (Agricultural Benefits) Claim and therefore there is no payment available to members.
Some First Nations have settled Agricultural Benefits Claims and made payments to their members. This is not the case for Sawridge. Agricultural Benefits Claims stem from the Treaty Promise to provide Agricultural Benefits to First Nations. These may be one time communal benefits. If it is proven that the benefits were not provided when required or in the amount required in accordance with the terms of Treaty #8 then the First Nation would have a claim for such benefits. These are not individual benefits and individuals may not seek these benefits from the Crown.
The First Nation is currently having research conducted to see if it has a claim for Agricultural Benefits. If the research validates such a claim, the First Nation will submit it. The research and processing of Agricultural Claims can take many years. Even if a claim is found to exist and is settled by Canada, there is no guarantee that any amount of the claim will be payable to members. Ultimately, before any claim is settled, the First Nation will have to hold a referendum on the settlement agreement. Part of this process will include the determination as to whether a payment will be made to members and the amount of that payment. All of this is still years away.
The First Nation had prioritized its Treaty Land Entitlement Claim for research and that claim is nearing completion. Once completed it will be submitted. The processing of this claim will likely take many years.