Nisga’a citizens can expect a financial boost early in 2022, after the Nigsa’a Lisims Government (NLG) approved a one-time disbursement of $2,500 for each member on Dec. 4.
People registered as Nisga’a citizens as of Dec. 1 are eligible thanks to a distribution of a $20 million treaty loan repayment from the federal government.
“We have heard the call of our people, and in honour and recognition of the generations of Nisga’a men and women who grew old at the negotiation table, it is time that we share this with our people,” said Eva Clayton, NLG president in a media release.
In 2019 the federal government committed to reimbursing Indigenous groups — 234 so far — that have reached a comprehensive land claims settlement for their repaid negotiation loan debt.
The Nisga’a Nation repaid its debt in 2014 that was built up while negotiating the Nisga’a treaty, and is expecting $78 million in reimbursements over five years.
According to Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, the NLG has received two reimbursement payments, with the third payment set for April 2022. There are no conditions attached to the payments.
The NLG recommends that all citizens ensure that their contact information is updated with the citizenship department. Minors will see their funds held in trust until they are 18.