Chiefs say proposed Algonquin land claim deal illegal, fraudulent

OTTAWA -- A historic land claim agreement in principle struck by the Algonquins of Ontario with the federal and provincial governments is being denounced as fraudulent and illegal by chiefs of a number of Iroquois and Algonquin First Nations.

See Full Article

They charge that the vast majority of the Algonquins of Ontario (AOO) are not actually Algonquin or even aboriginal.

Indeed, the chiefs say even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau could technically qualify as an Algonquin under the loose criteria set to determine eligibility to participate in a ratification vote on the proposed deal.

While non-natives are entitled to vote on and benefit from the deal, the chiefs say other legitimate First Nations, whose traditional territory overlaps with the AOO land claim, have been ignored while their rights were bargained away.

The claim, the largest being negotiated in Ontario, covers a territory of 36,000 square kilometres in eastern Ontario, including Parliament Hill.

Among other things, the proposed deal would transfer 117,500 acres of Crown land to Algonquin ownership and provide a $300 million settlement.

If successful, it would become the province's first modern-day, constitutionally protected treaty.

The agreement in principle, which is in the midst of a ratification vote, was denounced Thursday by the chiefs of four Algonquin First Nations, who said the land claim overlaps almost 900,000 acres of their territory.

Lance Haymond, chief of the Kabaowek First Nation, said "the vast majority" of the Algonquins of Ontario "are not Algonquin at all," but non-natives who claim a loose connection to an Algonquin "root ancestor." In many cases, those eligible to vote on the land claim deal have not had any intermarriage with Algonquins for more than 200 years, he said.

According to a genealogical analysis done for the chiefs, Trudeau could technically trace his ancestry to an Algonquin woman eight generations ago. The process for eligibility is so convoluted and "ludicrous" that Trudeau could declare himself to be an Algonquin of Ontario, Haymond said.

"The Algonquins of Ontario do not have the moral or legal obligation to negotiate away all the rights of the Algonquin people," he said.

Haymond said Trudeau's fledgling government is not to blame for the situation but, given Trudeau's vow to create a new, respectful, nation-to-nation relationship with First Nations, has an obligation to fix it.

The deal was also denounced by the Iroquois caucus, which represents seven Iroquois communities in Ontario and Quebec.

"What has happened is, I will call it, fraudulent," Kahnawake Grand Chief Joe Norton told a news conference.

"An illegal deal has been made, has been struck to bring in people who are not Algonquins, who are not in any way attached to the land, who have not strived and struggled for centuries to try and maintain the integrity of the lands within Ontario."

Norton said the claim involves lands "continuously occupied" by the Iroquois, yet they have "more or less been pushed aside for people who have no right to any of this territory."

The Algonquins of Ontario consist of the federally recognized Pikwakanagan First Nation and nine other communities where people claim Algonquin ancestry.

AOO principal negotiator Robert Potts has said the inclusion of non-status descendents of Algonquins is intended to correct "a historic injustice" wherein many bands were never recognized under the Indian Act. He has also said the criteria for determining descendents has been stringent, involving a genealogist, a ratification committee and a retired judge.

Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Latest Canada & World News

  • 'White power' parking lot rant prompts police investigation

    Canada News CTV News
    Video of a racist tirade over a parking spot has gone viral online and prompted a police investigation in Abbotsford, B.C. The two-minute video shows an enraged white man with greying hair, wearing track pants and a mixed martial arts T-shirt, spitting a slew of racist terms at Ravi Duhra, a Canadian lawyer of South Asian descent, who is filming the incident on his phone. Source
  • British Airways flight makes emergency landing in Vancouver with ill crew

    Canada News CTV News
    LONDON - British Airways says a plane travelling from San Francisco to London diverted to Vancouver after members of the crew reported feeling ill. The airline says the 22 crew members and about two passengers have been taken to hospital for medical checks as a precaution. Source
  • Hacked emails show Clinton campaign carefully considered staff diversity

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — Senior staff members on Hillary Clinton’s nascent campaign were conscious about diversity in the top ranks two months before the Democratic presidential candidate formally announced her bid, according to hacked emails from the personal account of a top campaign official. Source
  • Man dead, 2 children hurt after jump from New Jersey bridge

    World News CTV News
    WANAQUE, N.J. - A man who jumped off a New Jersey highway bridge with his two children is dead, and the children are injured. State police say the man jumped from an overpass into a wooded area near the Wanaque River on Monday night. Source
  • Police to reveal details from suspicious-death investigation in southwestern Ontario

    Canada News CTV News
    Ontario police are set to provide an update Tuesday morning into a “multi-jurisdiction” death investigation believed to be related to the actions of a former registered nurse in a long-term-care facility. Senior members of the Woodstock Police Services, London Police Services and the Ontario Provincial Police are set to hold a news conference at 10 a.m. Source
  • Teen in clown mask brandishing a hammer stabbed in Germany

    World News Toronto Sun
    BERLIN — German police say a teenager’s attempt to frighten a group of young people by wearing a clown mask and brandishing a hammer on a Berlin street turned out very badly. Berlin police said Tuesday that a 14-year-old responded by pulling a knife and stabbing the clown, only to find that the clown was a 16-year-old acquaintance. Source
  • 'This war isn’t over'; Cadets, recruits among dead after militants attack Pakistan police academy

    World News Toronto Sun
    QUETTA, Pakistan — Gunmen stormed a police training centre late Monday in Pakistan’s restive Baluchistan province and detonated explosive vests, killing at least 48 police trainees, authorities said. Baluchistan’s top health official, Noorul Haq, said at least 116 people were wounded — mostly police trainees and some paramilitary troops. Source
  • Multiple police forces probe southwestern Ontario deaths

    Canada News CBC News
    Ontario Provincial Police say they will provide an update this morning on an investigation into multiple deaths spanning several southwestern Ontario communities and police jurisdictions. The provincial police will hold a media conference at 10 a.m. Source
  • Former Woodstock, Ont. nurse involved in southwestern Ontario death probe

    Canada News CBC News
    Ontario Provincial Police say they will provide an update this morning on an investigation into multiple deaths spanning several southwestern Ontario communities and police jurisdictions. The provincial police will hold a media conference at 10 a.m. Source
  • Vatican: No more scattering of cremation ashes

    World News CTV News
    VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican on Tuesday published guidelines for Catholics who want to be cremated, saying their remains cannot be scattered, divvied up or kept at home but rather stored in a sacred, church-approved place. Source