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.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Pence cites 'challenging times' in speech to troops in American Samoa

    World News CTV News
    U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, right, speaks during talks with Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at Admiralty House in Sydney, Saturday, April 22, 2017. (Jason Reed/Pool Photo via AP) Source
  • Trump's talk on immigration leads to farmers push back on immigration

    World News CTV News
    JUNCTION CITY, Ore. - The head of Bethel Heights Vineyard looked out over the 100 acres of vines her crew of 20 Mexicans had just finished pruning, worried about what will happen if the Trump administration presses ahead with its crackdown on immigrants. Source
  • Death of Edmonton toddler a 'devastating tragedy' [Photos] [Video]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Family members of a toddler found dead Friday identified him as Anthony Joseph Raine on social media Sunday while a snow-ringed memorial in north Edmonton continued to grow. The boy's aunts posted photos of the toddler on a Facebook memorial as members of the public struggle to come to terms with the "devastating tragedy. Source
  • Father arrested as police search for missing boy in California

    World News CTV News
    SOUTH PASADENA, Calif. -- Police in Southern California on Sunday finished their search of a park where the passed-out father of a missing 5-year-old boy was found over the weekend and are asking for anyone with information to come forward. Source
  • 3 children among victims in New York City house fire

    World News Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — A fast-moving fire killed five people, including three children, as flames surged through a New York City home on a sunny spring afternoon, leaving authorities to scour for clues about what sparked the deadly blaze. Source
  • Capitals end Leafs' playoff run in Game 6

    Canada News CBC News
    A historic Toronto Maple Leafs season has come to an end. Marcus Johansson stuffed his second goal of the game past Frederik Andersen six and a half minutes into overtime as the Washington Capitals edged the Leafs 2-1 in Game 6 on Sunday night — winning the series 4-2 with five of the six games decided in extra time. Source
  • Mudslinging continues as B.C. election nears halfway mark

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER - Leaders of British Columbia's main political parties are continuing to take shots at each other's election promises and past performances as the campaign nears the halfway mark. NDP Leader John Horgan hosted a campaign rally in Vancouver on Sunday, where he told the crowd that Liberal Leader Christy Clark is working for her donors, not for the average British Columbian. Source
  • Calgary mother hopes photo of dying son will deter others from doing fentanyl

    Canada News CBC News
    A Calgary mother is hoping a photo of her laying on a hospital bed with her dying son will help steer others away from using the deadly drug, fentanyl. "My son was not an addict, he made a mistake that cost him his life," Sherri Kent wrote on the Facebook post, which has been shared more than 86,000 times. Source
  • South Korea, allies brace for North Korea follow-up act

    World News CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of -- Fresh off an immense North Korean parade that revealed an arsenal of intercontinental ballistic missiles, rival South Korea and its allies are bracing for the possibility that Pyongyang's follow-up act will be even bigger. Source
  • Winnipeg native Canada’s oldest person about to hit 112

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Outside of genetics and just plain old good luck, what would be the secret to a long life? If you follow the example of some-to-be 112-year-old Ellen (Dolly) Gibb, it would seem that eating well in moderation with lots of full-fat cream and butter and the occasional beer would do the trick. Source