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Samson News Release (in PDF) 28 December 2006

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  • Don
    ... From: Carolyn M. Buffalo To: Undisclosed-Recipient:; @priv-edtnaa06.telusplanet.net Sent: Sunday, December 31, 2006 11:01 AM Subject: Fw: Samson News
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 31, 2006
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Carolyn M. Buffalo
      To: "Undisclosed-Recipient:;"@...
      Sent: Sunday, December 31, 2006 11:01 AM
      Subject: Fw: Samson News Release (in PDF) 28 December 2006

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Terry Munro
      To: Liseth@...
      Sent: Thursday, December 28, 2006 12:40 PM
      Subject: FW: Samson News Release (in PDF) 28 December 2006

      For immediate release
      P.O. Box 159
      Hobbema, Alberta
      Date: December 28, 2006

      Samson Cree Nation Reserve (Alberta) - The epic seventeen year court battle
      pitting Samson Cree Nation against Canada for breach of the Queen's treaty
      and trust obligations is going to the highest court in the land in respect
      to claimed mismanagement of hundreds of millions of dollars of reserve oil
      and gas royalties.

      Today, Samson Cree Nation Chief and Council announced they will be asking
      the Supreme Court of Canada for leave to appeal a 2-1 decision of the
      Federal Court of Appeal dismissing an appeal from the judgment of Justice
      Teitelbaum of November 30, 2005.

      Although all members of the Federal Court of Appeal held that the Crown was
      a trustee and had fiduciary obligations, the majority concluded that the
      Crown had acted "reasonably" while the dissenting judge, Justice Sexton, was
      of the view that the Crown's conduct fell short of satisfying its duties as
      a trustee.

      The dissenting judge also vindicated the claim of Samson Cree Nation that
      they had been subjected to inferior and discriminatory treatment as trust
      beneficiaries, because of the Indian Act, in breach of the Canadian Charter
      of Rights and Freedoms. Justice Sexton stated:

      "Concluding that the Crown has no duty or power to invest the Indian Moneys
      would subject Indians, who must deal with the Crown as their Trustee, to
      inferior treatment merely because of their Indian status and membership in
      an Indian Band. This would appear to constitute discriminatory treatment on
      the part of the government in violation of subsection 15(1) of the Charter
      on the basis of race, or national or ethic origin."

      In 2005, Samson Cree Nation obtained an unprecedented Court Order
      effectively removing the Crown as trustee of Samson's royalty moneys and
      transferring control of approximately $350 million to an independent trust
      established by Samson known as the Kisoniyaminaw Heritage Trust. The appeal
      involves the conduct of Canada prior to this transfer, which for decades
      Samson had tried to obtain.

      A positive note of this decision of the Federal Court of Appeal is that it
      did not endorse the rejection by the trial judge of the Plains Cree
      understanding of Treaty No. 6. To the contrary, the Court of Appeal directed
      that the main conclusions of the trial judge regarding Treaty No. 6 and
      history are not binding on the judge who will hear other parts of this
      important case going to the root of several significant facets of the
      unique, historical and solemn relationship between Aboriginal Nations and

      Nonetheless, in a unanimous decision, Samson Chief and Council decided that
      the Government of Canada must be held accountable for the control it assumed
      over the heritage of present and future Samson generations, for failing to
      keep its word to properly protect reserve resources and for hiding behind
      the colonial, oppressive and discriminatory Indian Act as an excuse to
      renege on its Treaty promises.

      Chief Victor Buffalo stated "The Samson Cree Nation shall continue and will
      not be deterred in any way in our crusade to have the federal government
      held fully accountable as Treaty partner and Trustee and to ensure that our
      treaty, inherent and aboriginal rights are respected and implemented."

      OUR WEBSITE: www.samsoncree.org
      and/or contact
      Chief Victor Buffalo
      (780) 585-3793
      (403) 266-0091

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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