By James Wastasecoot

Peguis May 15, 2021 - Peguis Treaty Land Entitlement Trust (TLE) held its 11th Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2020 via VIRTUAL.  Peguis Beneficiaries were able to join by Zoom, Facebook and listen to the Peguis Country Rock Radio Station.  Apart from the 10-minute power blackout which came at the end of the meeting, the event was not only a technological success, but a financial success as well in which the Trust performed well through the year despite the pandemic.  Financial Trustee – Chair,  Sherry Sutherland said that the event was a demonstration of how Peguis has been able to use technologies to connect with the community.  She said: “A major challenge over the past year has been the pandemic and meeting via Virtual.  But it’s been a good transition.”

The TLE Trust rust engages several companies who each have a role to play in the management of the Trust funds.  Mawer, Ridgewood, and Beutel Goodman are companies that actually go out into the markets of the world and purchase stocks, bonds and other financial products to generate investment income.  T. E. WEALTH has worked with the Trust since 2008 and provides ongoing monitoring, measurement and safeguarding of the Trust investments.  In previous years, T. E. Wealth has drummed into the meeting attendees that investing for sustainable wealth means providing for the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.  In other words: “To nurture and grow the tree that provides the fruit for both today and tomorrow.”  

Company representatives made their presentations via Zoom from their home offices in Toronto, Winnipeg, and Calgary. Royal Trust Corporate Trustee, Sangita Bhalla told the meeting that the Trust performed well with an opening value on January 1st, 2020 of $46,607,894 and a closing value on December 31st, 2020 of $42,998,976, a decrease of $3,608,918, but this due to a major land purchase of $5.1 million and not as a result of poor trust performance.  The land purchased is located at 1 Warman Road in Winnipeg and was slated as an investment in cannabis production.  In closing, Bhalla reminded the meeting that the goal of the Trust and the reason that it is a model of a successful trust is it has been able to provide for the current needs of the community while growing so that future generations can also provide for their own needs.

The TLE Audit was presented by Terryl Luhowy from Myers, Norris, Penny (MNP).   He told the meeting the audit was “the best rating that you can get, clean and unqualified.” The audit is available to beneficiaries at the Peguis TLE Trust office located at the Peguis Rec Centre.   It is not available online.

Over the past year, $234,890 was disbursed to beneficiaries for a variety of causes and individual endeavours.   Chair of the Community Fund Trustees, Lloyd Sinclair presented on behalf of the Community Fund. He said: “The Trustees try to do a fair and adequate system on the name that we work on and the application that is there.” He read out a list of beneficiaries who received trust funds in the past year. The list is from the Peguis TLE Trust Annual Report 2020. He urged action be taken to conduct elections to fill Trustee vacancies and that the youth of Peguis must now step up as candidates for the Trustee vacancies to be announced. The Chief and Council has posted a notice that Trustee elections are to be held soon. Sinclair also led a moment of silence in the memory of the late Rev. Canon Barry Bear who served as a Community Fund Trustee until he passed on February 1, 2021.

The beneficiaries of the Trust are able to review the company reports on the Peguis TLE website at www.peguistletrust.ca (see menu item: Annual Reports). The annual report for 2020 can be viewed and downloaded under the Reports tab.

Myrna Hefferman, Administrator, TLE Implementation Unit also presented on behalf of the Land Acquisitions from her home in Selkirk, MB.  Myrna can be reached at the TLE Implementation Office in Selkirk at 1 (204) 482-4613.  The Implementation Presentation is also available on the Peguis TLE Website.