Kitigan Zibi babies left out of land settlement claim - APTN NewsAPTN News

Kitigan Zibi babies left out of land settlement claim

Amber Bernard
APTN National News
Kylie is one of eight babies from Kitgan Zibi who were left out of a multi-million dollar land claim.

Until recently the Algonquin community, which is two hours north of Ottawa, had been negotiating multiple land claims. Kitigan Zibi and Canada settled on $116 million this year.

Everyone in Kylie’s family is entitled to a portion of that money, except Kylie.

The community voted to close off land settlement money to new band members after Jan. 5, 2019.

Kylie was born four months before the vote, and her mother, Kristy Odjick, submitted her baby’s band registration form in November 2018.

“She’s been excluded because she didn’t get her registration papers in time,” Odjick said. “We thought all babies born before the votes would be included.”

Kylie’s registration was not approved until Jan. 24, missing the deadline for land settlement money by just a few weeks.

Kyle McGregor, Kylie’s Father, thinks it’s unfair his daughter was excluded from the money.

“She was born before the due date. Just because of administrative errors or whatever it is, she’s being cut out. It is kind of, not fair,” he told APTN National News.

Odjick thinks the influx of band membership inquiries from Bill S-3 applicants has something to do with her daughter’s delayed registration.

“The babies were basically thrown under the bus,” said Odjick. “They were put on the backburner, while 200 S-3s were made a priority.”

Bill S-3 applicants are the children of mothers who lost their Indian Status through marriage.

Kylie’s parents asked the Kitigan Zibi band council for help and, according McGregor and Odjick, nothing was done to support the eight babies left out of the land claim.

APTN reached out to the Kitigan Zibi band council for comment.

“As a section 11 band under the Indian Act it is the Registrar that controls the registration of KZA [Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg]’s membership,” a spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

This means Indigenous Services Canada is ultimately responsible for processing Indian status registration for Section 11 bands.

Section 11 bands are communities that follow Indian Status admission under the Indian Act.

Indigenous Services Canada told APTN that processing times for Indian status can take anywhere from six to eight months. Kylie’s application took four months to process.

Kylie’s father believes excluding the eight babies over administrative technicalities is wrong.

“It feels like my daughter is being discriminated against and I’m feeling a bit discriminated against too,” he said.

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