Chiefs take Ontario Ottawa to court over breached RobinsonHuron Treaty

first_imgAPTN National NewsA group of First Nation chiefs have filed court action against Ottawa and Ontario over owed treaty annuities promised under the Robinson-Huron Treaty.The Robinson-Huron Treaty was signed on Sept. 9, 1850 and covers about 21 First Nation communities with a population of about 30,000 Anishinabek people. The treaty area covers about 35,700 square kilometres of territory in northern Ontario. The claim, which was filed with the Ontario Superior Court in Sudbury, Ont., states the Crown has failed to live up to the treaty which, the claimants argue, promised annuities would increase along with revenue generated from the treaty territory.“Shortly after the treaty was entered into the chiefs began petitioning the Crown for an increase in annuities with limited results,” said Batchewana First Nation Chief Dean Sayers. “The Robinson-Huron Treaty anticipates and provides economic benefits for us in perpetuity. The annuity was intended to be our revenue stream, our share of wealth generated by revenues from our territory, yet many of the beneficiaries live in poverty.”Currently, treaty beneficiaries get $4 a year which has seen no increase since 1874.The chiefs, behind the claim, say they are seeking a tally of the revenue generated by their treaty territory since 1850, an increase of annuities and compensation for losses stemming from the Crown’s failure to increase annuities.“It couldn’t be plainer that the territory has generated vast amounts of revenues from forestry, mining and other resource development. Still we receive four dollars per year,” said Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee. “That is unfair and not what we bargained for.”Assembly of First Nations National Chief Ghislain Picard said it was time for Canada to rectify the “long-standing breach” of the treaty.“Canada has grown rich off the traditional territories of First Nations and both provincial and national economies benefit while too many of our communities face chronic poverty,” said Picard. “This is clearly unfair.”news@aptn.calast_img

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