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Federal judge reserves decision on First Nations land dispute involving former Alberta chief

Former Blood Tribe Chief Harley Frank gestures from his truck on disputed land near his home near Spring Coulee, Alta. Thursday, July 5, 2018.
Former Blood Tribe Chief Harley Frank gestures from his truck on disputed land near his home near Spring Coulee, Alta. Thursday, July 5, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

A federal judge has reserved his decision on a land claim dispute between two families on Canada’s largest First Nations reserve.

But Justice Michael Manson has made it clear that he will not be overturning a decision that transferred land from former Blood Tribe chief Harley Frank to another family.

READ MORE: ‘Do Indians have property rights?’ Former Alberta chief’s land dispute in court

Manson says he will decide if the process was procedurally fair, and if it wasn’t, will send the case back to the bodies that made the original decision to look at the case again.

The dispute involves 600 hectares of prime agricultural land that was allocated to the Frank family in 1960, but earlier this year was awarded to another family instead.

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LISTEN: Harley Frank joins Danielle Smith to discuss the ongoing land dispute

Band members can’t own property outright, but they can have it allocated to them with the approval of the chief and council.

The judge didn’t give a date for releasing his decision.