LAC DES MILLE LACS FIRST NATION, ON, June 20, 2017 /CNW/ - The governments of the Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation, Canada and Ontario are taking a major step along the path of reconciliation today by announcing and celebrating the final settlement of a longstanding flooding claim.
Achieved through negotiation and in a spirit of partnership, this historic claim settlement resolves a specific flooding dispute between the parties that has been outstanding for more than 145 years. The negotiated settlement provides the First Nation with approximately $77 million in financial compensation to resolve the claim and provides for a flooding easement.
It is through these kinds of negotiated settlements and agreements that we can renew relationships and foster reconciliation. The goal of these agreements is to provide fair compensation to address past wrongs and honour longstanding obligations. The settlement will assist the Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation in building a brighter future for its members and community as a whole.
"Chi miigwetch to all of our members who exercised their right to vote on this historical settlement offer, which will have far reaching and positive effects now and into the future. We truly appreciate the tireless work of our Negotiation Team and the involvement of our members for the time they have taken to remain involved in this process. This settlement is not only about bringing closure and healing for our community, it is also about new beginnings and opportunities to mutually work together with Canada and Ontario as respected partners."
Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation
"This settlement is an important step to renew our nation-to-nation relationship with the Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation. This historic agreement helps right a past wrong and also creates new opportunities for a brighter future as we continue to move forward together in the spirit of respect and partnership."
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs
"I congratulate the parties on reaching a successful settlement of the Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation flooding claim. This settlement demonstrates how negotiations can address longstanding issues and facilitate reconciliation by helping create a sustainable future for the community. Now Lac des Mille Lacs community members can return to live on their historic reserve lands, creating new opportunities for residents."
The Honourable David Zimmer,
Ontario Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
"I know how long this process has taken and how hard the community has worked to get this historic flood claim negotiated. I am thrilled that this means community members will be able to return to their traditional territory, and I want to congratulate everyone involved on coming to an agreement that is satisfying for all parties involved."
The Honourable Kathryn McGarry
Ontario Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry
- Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation is a signatory to Treaty #3.
- The flooding claim relates to historical events dating back to 1873, when a dam was constructed at the outlet of Lac des Mille Lacs. This resulted in the flooding of the First Nation's Reserve 22A1 lands without their consent and without compensation.
- First Nation members voted overwhelmingly to approve the negotiated settlement in a Referendum Vote which concluded on April 5, 2017. The First Nation's Chief and Council signed the settlement on April 7, 2017.
- Ontario signed the settlement on May 10, 2017.
- Canada signed the settlement agreement on May 19, 2017.
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SOURCE Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
For further information: media may contact: Sabrina Williams, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, 613-697-8316; INAC Media Relations, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-953-1160; Ryan Kasraee, Office of the Honourable David Zimmer, 416 314-2617; Flavia Mussio, Communications, Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, 416-314-9455; Celeste Pedri-Spade, PhD., Communications, Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation, 807-709-0871