Photo: Members of the Prophet River First Nation protest outside their band office Thursday – Courtesy Fort Nelson News

Police are monitoring a situation on the Prophet River reserve about 100 kilometers south of Fort Nelson, where about 70 members of the First Nation have taken over their band office.

A Fort Nelson RCMP spokesman is quoted by the CBC as saying the protesters have been peaceful and, police haven’t been called to handle any conflicts, since the occupation began about a week ago. The occupation followed reports the band’s chief and two councillors received a large lump-sum payment, allegedly 800 thousand dollars each, out of a $130-million cash settlement with Ottawa.

The 230-member Prophet River First Nation sued the federal government in April 1997, accusing Ottawa of breaking obligations to the band concerning the division and development of their reserve land and associated mineral rights.