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OTTAWA, Sept. 13, 2018 /CNW/ – As we build a new future with First Nations, reconciliation requires that we acknowledge the wrongs of the past and work collaboratively with Indigenous people to take the necessary steps to respectfully resolve them.

Today, the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the seven Williams Treaties First Nations, announced that the Federal Court has granted a discontinuance of the Alderville litigation as a result of the parties reaching a negotiated settlement agreement that resolves the litigation.

The Alderville litigation was filed by the seven Williams Treaties First Nations in 1992 and went to trial in 2012. The Alderville litigation deals with a longstanding dispute about the making, terms, interpretation and implementation of the 1923 Williams Treaties.

Terms of the negotiated settlement include: An entitlement for each First Nation to add up to 11,000 acres of land to their reserve land base subject to Canada’s Additions to Reserve/Reserve Creation policy. The First Nations are responsible for acquiring these lands.

Recognition of the First Nations’ continuing treaty harvesting rights and a commitment to continue to work together to implement these rights.

A commitment by Canada and Ontario to provide an oral and written statement of apology to the Williams Treaties First Nations.

Achieved through partnership and dialogue, the settlement advances reconciliation and resolves outstanding issues in a way that respects the rights and interests of the seven Williams Treaties First Nations and all Canadians.

A formal celebration of the settlement agreement and the delivery of an apology by the federal and provincial Crowns is currently being planned.

Quotes

"After years of litigation and repeated attempts at negotiations, I am extremely proud that the negotiations team has successfully resolved our longstanding battle for constitutionally protected hunting and fishing rights. Our ancestors have fought since 1923 to exercise our rights freely and without encumbrance and finally we have been able to secure this for our people and for future generations. It is a success for the Williams Treaties First Nations, but also for all Ontarians and Canadians who will see a new way forward in Crown-Indigenous relations."

Chief Kelly LaRocca, Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation, Portfolio Chief, Williams Treaties First Nations

"I have been a part of the trial and negotiations for more than a decade. We have come full circle. My Grandfather, Norman Marsden was one of the signatories on the Williams Treaties and it is gratifying for me to be able to sign my name to this settlement as current Chief of Alderville First Nation because it represents how far we have come. This settlement will benefit the Williams Treaty First Nations today and for our future generations."

Chief James Robert Marsden, Alderville First Nation

"Beausoleil First Nation acknowledges and honours our ancestors who endured the hardships created by the misinterpretation of the 1923 Williams Treaty. Finally 95 years later, today we celebrate the conclusion of this chapter and work towards reconciliation and a new beginning for our community. We extend our full-hearted appreciation and acknowledgement to Peter Hutchins and all associates at Hutchins Legal Inc. for their advocacy throughout our litigation. We are extremely proud that our own Karry Sandy, negotiator, was a part of this negotiation team and also recognize Ceyda Turan, counsel, and Mel Jacobs, co-negotiator, for achieving their mandate and in bringing this settlement home for the Anishinabek of Beausoleil First Nation. Miigwetch."

"On this historic day, we acknowledge the hard work of our ancestors, our elders, our leaders and knowledge keepers in their determination to have our collective Treaty rights recognized and affirmed. We are on a path of […]

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