Milestone Achieved in Algonquins of Ontario Land Claim Negotiations
Negotiators take key step toward fair and equitable settlement to advance reconciliation and unlock new economic opportunities in eastern Ontario
June 12, 2015
The governments of Canada and Ontario and the Algonquins of Ontario announced today that their negotiators have initialled a proposed Agreement-in-Principle on the Algonquin Land Claim. This is a key step toward a final agreement that will balance the rights of all concerned and open up new economic development opportunities for the benefit of the Algonquins and their neighbours in eastern Ontario.
The proposed agreement-in-principle (AIP) is one step towards the negotiation of a final agreement. The goal is to define the ongoing rights of the Algonquins of Ontario to lands and natural resources through a final agreement that will provide clarity going forward for the benefit of all who live and work in the claim territory.
The next step in the process is for the Algonquins of Ontario to vote on the proposed agreement-in-principle. If the vote is successful, the next steps are approval by the governments of Ontario and Canada followed by a tripartite negotiation process leading to a final agreement. The final agreement would need to be approved by the parties and given legal effect by the Ontario legislature and Parliament of Canada.
- The Algonquins began to petition the Crown for a treaty in 1772 and repeatedly asserted their rights and title to their traditional territory in eastern Ontario.
- The present negotiation process has been underway since the early 1990s.
- Canada, Ontario and the Algonquins of Ontario are committed to achieving an agreement that balances the rights of all Canadians and creates greater certainty in the territory. The development of the proposed agreement-in-principle was shaped by an extensive public consultation process undertaken in 2013.
- While the Agreement-in-Principle is not legally binding, it would form the framework for continuing negotiations towards a final agreement or modern-day treaty.
- There will be many continuing opportunities for public input in the years ahead during negotiations toward a final agreement.
- The agreement-in-principle (AIP) proposes the transfer of $300 million in capital funding and 117,500 acres of provincial Crown lands to Algonquin ownership.
- No privately owned land will be taken away from anyone to settle the claim. No one will lose access to their private property. Algonquin Park will remain a Park for the enjoyment of all.
“Our Government believes that the best way to resolve outstanding Aboriginal rights and title claims is through negotiated settlements that balance the interests of all Canadians. The progress made with the Algonquins of Ontario demonstrates what we can achieve when we work together as partners to find a shared solution. Once completed, a Final Agreement will create new opportunities for economic growth and investment for the benefit of Aboriginal communities and neighbouring non-Aboriginal communities.”
“This is an important step on the long road to Ontario’s first modern-day treaty. Resolving this land claim will open new opportunities for the Algonquins of Ontario and their neighbours, contributing to a stronger regional economy across eastern Ontario. We’re looking forward to moving ahead with these negotiations.”
“The initialing of the proposed AIP is a positive achievement in our treaty negotiations with Canada and Ontario. This commitment by Canada and Ontario means that, together, we can renew our efforts towards the rebuilding of the Algonquin Nation and move forward on this historic journey of reconciliation. Our next stage is one of decision-making regarding the ratification process, which is now in the hands of the Algonquins of Ontario.”
Robert J. Potts
Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
Media Relations Office
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
Executive Director, Algonquins of Ontario Consultation Office