By Trevor Greyeyes –
There was a high demand for treaty payments in Winnipeg this summer after several years of COVID restraints that caught the local government agency responsible for those payments unprepared.
However, did you know that you can mail it in?
An Indigenous Services Canada spokesperson said, “Over the course of the event at the Forks in Winnipeg, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) disbursed treaty annuities to 8,070 individuals. ISC is aware that many individuals who are eligible for treaty annuities have not collected them for several years because of the pandemic and the department is prepared to dispense higher-than-average amounts of funds at treaty payment events this year. “
That’s right ISC figures that nearly $235 thousand was given out at the Forks between June 7 to 13 this year.
Don’t despair if you did not pick up your treaty payment during the course of the pandemic and beyond.
Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) provides many avenues to support treaty annuities.
To request a form by mail, contact an ISC regional office in your area:
- By phone, you can contact ISC’s Public Enquiry Contact Centre Monday to Friday from 9 am to 6 pm Eastern time (Phone: 1-800-567-9604, Fax: 1-866-817-3977, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ).
- Eligible persons may also print and fill out the Treaty Payment Request form and send it by mail or email it to the closest ISC/CIRNAC regional offices and service kiosks to receive a payment by cheque or direct deposit.
Of course, if you’re in the community during treaty day celebrations, you can pick up your money but you can also pick up your treaty money at The Forks in Winnipeg during a specific period of time (usually in early summer for a couple of weeks).
When asked if there are any plans to increase the amount of the treaty payment, ISC spokesperson said, “We recognize that more needs to be done with regard to renewing the treaty relationship and remain open to looking at ways to advance this important work.”
ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND ON TREATY ANNUITIES
Every year, the Government of Canada makes treaty annuity payments to status Indians who are entitled to them through registration to First Nations that signed specific historic treaties with the Crown.
Most treaty payments are made in cash during treaty payment events in First Nation communities and urban centers, on or off reserve. They are coordinated by Treaty First Nations and Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) regional offices. The fulfillment of treaty provisions is a legal obligation of the Government of Canada. Any uncollected treaty annuity payments will “roll over” to the following year and are held in trust by the Government of Canada until the individual collects the full amount owed.
For details on specific First Nation events on reserve, please contact the First Nation directly.