Robinson-Huron Treaty First Nations court action against Canada and Ontario to commence today in Thunder Bay
THUNDER BAY, ON, Sept. 25, 2017 – Today in Thunder Bay the lawsuit filed by the Robinson-Huron Treaty First Nations against Canada and Ontario will commence at the Thunder Bay Court House.
In September 2014 the Robinson-Huron Treaty First Nations launched a lawsuit against Canada and Ontario as a result of the failure to implement specific commitments of the Robinson-Huron Treaty of 1850, specifically the annuity augmentation. The 1850 Treaty committed the Crown to provide treaty annuities as the lands produced revenue. This annuity was to increase as revenues increased, which would support the annuities without incurring a loss.
The Robinson-Huron First Nations were optimistic that a just settlement could be reached in this matter given the public commitments made the by the Trudeau government about working with First Nations to support reconciliation and a renewed relationship. Unfortunately there has been little progress to date despite the efforts of Robinson-Huron First Nations leadership push for a negotiated settlement. “The treaty was agreed to 167 years ago and we are still waiting for the promises to be kept. It was agreed that as development on the lands created revenue that our people would also benefit. This has not been the case,” stated Chief Duke Peltier. “The Trudeau government has said there is no relationship more important than the relationship with Indigenous people and they have committed to working toward reconciliation with First Nations people. In reality we have not seen those words put into action and that is why we find ourselves in court today. The bottom line is that we remain committed to seeing justice done for our people”
Robinson-Huron Treaty First Nations leaders and citizens will convene in Thunder Bay for the hearings and will be joined by Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde. “This issue goes to the heart of our work towards reconciliation. It is about enforcing and implementing Treaties according to their spirit and intent and acknowledging the reality that First Nations never gave away our lands. We agreed to share the riches of our traditional territories. Unfortunately, reconciliation does not happen in court rooms, and I urge Minister Bennett to step in and work directly with the Robinson-Huron Treaty leaders towards the framing of a fair and just settlement. This is an important opportunity and an early test for reconciliation and renewal. I fully support the Robinson-Huron Treaty First Nations and it is an honour to stand with them today” stated National Chief Bellegarde.
The lawsuit hearings will take place from September 25, 2017 to October 20, 2017 in Thunder Bay and will then move onto Manitoulin Island, Garden River First Nation and Sudbury. The hearings in Thunder Bay will take place at the Thunder Bay Court House located at 125 Brodie Street North, Thunder Bay.
SOURCE Assembly of First Nations
For further information: For Robinson-Huron Trust, Mike Restoule, Phone: 705-498-7353, Email: [email protected]; For AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde, Jamie Monastyrski, Press Secretary – National Chief’s Office, 613-241-6789 ext. 222, 343-540-6179 (cell), [email protected]
Assembly of First Nations
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