Algonquins of Ontario Treaty Negotiations
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
is this claim and the negotiations all about?
The Algonquins of Ontario
(“Algonquins”) have Aboriginal rights and title to lands within the Ottawa
River and Mattawa River watersheds in Ontario – rights and title which have
never been surrendered.
The Algonquin Nation has owned, used and occupied the
Algonquin petitions to the Crown on this
issue date back to 1772. The current claim was formally submitted to the
Government of Canada in 1983 and the Government of Ontario in 1985 by the
Algonquins of Pikwŕkanagŕn
(“Pikwŕkanagŕn”) (known at the time as the Algonquins
of Golden Lake). After conducting historical and legal reviews, the
The Algonquins, Ontario and Canada (“the
parties”) are now negotiating a settlement of this claim against the Crown
which, if successful, will lead to an Algonquin Treaty. Such a treaty must
assure the survival of the Algonquin people with elements that address, among
other things, ownership of lands, rights and management obligations regarding
natural resources (e.g., hunting, fishing, trapping and gathering rights, etc.),
money and economic opportunities, and/or initiatives to promote the survival of
area is included in the claim?
The Algonquin Traditional Territory in
Ontario is an area of over 9 million acres (14,000 square miles) within the
watersheds of the Ottawa and Mattawa Rivers. The area that is the subject of the
Algonquin/Nippissing claim includes the National Capital Region and most of
are the steps in the process?
The land claim negotiation is following a
process which, if successful, will ultimately lead to the signing of a Treaty
with the governments of Ontario and Canada. The general steps in this process
Organization of the Algonquins of Ontario,
including registration of individual Algonquins (whether status or non-status,
on-reserve or off-reserve) and the election of Algonquin Negotiation
Representatives (“ANRs”), to allow the voices of Algonquins throughout the
territory to be heard at the negotiation table;
Identification of local and national
Algonquin issues and the setting of Algonquin objectives for the resolution of
Substantive negotiations with the
Ratification of the AIP by (i) the
Algonquin people; (ii) the provincial government; and (iii) the federal
government. This stage will result in an “Algonquin Treaty” which will
define the respective rights and obligations of all three parties; and
Implementation of the terms of the Treaty
according to a plan to be mutually developed and agreed to by the parties.
The parties believe that the best way to
resolve this claim is to work together to find common solutions through a
productive negotiation process. The alternative might well involve lengthy and
adversarial litigation, in which the final outcome would be subject to a
decision of the courts.
will benefit from an Algonquin Treaty?
It is expected that this process will
provide the foundation for cultural and economic prosperity of all Algonquins in
Ontario, whether status, non-status, on-reserve or off-reserve.
All the people of Canada will benefit in securing an
honourable and lasting treaty with the Algonquin people. In addition, since many
Algonquins live in communities comprised of Algonquins and non-Algonquins alike,
it is expected that non-Algonquins living within
represents the Algonquin people in the negotiations?
How will they be involved?
The Algonquins of Ontario include: Antoine,
Snimikobi (Ardoch), Bancroft, Bonnechere, Greater Golden Lake, Mattawa/North
Bay, Ottawa, Pikwŕkanagŕn, Shabat Obajiwan (Sharbot Lake)
Representatives of each Community of
Algonquins are serving as Algonquin Negotiation Representatives (“ANRs”). Pikwŕkanagŕn is represented by six members of Council
and its Chief. The other Communities of Algonquins are
each represented by an ANR who has been elected through a democratic election to
serve a three year term (expiring in May 2008).
The ANRs have sought and continue to seek
input from the Algonquin people. Any agreement will require ratification by the
is happening in the negotiations now?
Currently the ANRs, with advice and assistance of a
Technical Advisory Group (“TAG”), are preparing for substantive negotiations
with the governments. Negotiations are expected to resume in earnest this fall
One aspect of the preparations for these negotiations
is the preparation of an Economic Development Plan (“EDP”).
The ANRs have identified certain central objectives of
the EDP (and of the Algonquin people more generally), including:
survival of the Algonquin culture,
reaffirming the honour
and pride of the Algonquin people;
awareness among non-Algonquin people for the Algonquin culture.
The ANRs understand that in order to achieve these objectives, and for
any Treaty to receive popular approval of the Algonquin people, the EDP and
ultimately the Treaty will need to be designed to address at least three key elements:
integrity of the Algonquin Nation and Algonquin culture, which will require:
and other efforts to promote the Algonquin culture (survival of the Algonquins);
Government sufficient to preserve our own cultural integrity;
integrity of the Algonquin Nation and Algonquin culture, which will require:
participation at both the decision-making and
operational levels with respect to the management of natural resources and
unpatented lands in the territory and major developmental changes to the region
– this is Algonquin Territory and the Algonquin Nation needs to have real and
tangible influence over its future;
efforts to educate non-Algonquins regarding the traditional attachment of the
Algonquins to the land and resources of
of the relationship(s) of the Algonquins with the governments of
opportunity, which will require:
integrated efforts to significantly improve the well-being of the Algonquin
people in the region and to provide the mechanisms which are required for the
development of economic opportunities – without economic opportunity, no
culture can survive.
It is the hope and expectation of the ANRs that this
process will lead to an Agreement in Principle, and ultimately a Treaty between
the Algonquins of Ontario and the governments of
The ANRs and the TAG are working hard to prepare for
the resumption of substantive negotiations this fall (2007).
It is impossible to say how long it will
take, except to say that it is not going to happen overnight. It is important to
take the time and care necessary to develop approaches that will work and an
agreement that can be effectively implemented and stand the test of time.
I own property in the land claim area,
how will a future settlement affect me?
It remains the Algonquin objective that
innocently acquired private property should not be expropriated to settle this
claim and the rights of private land owners to make use of and access to their
land will be protected. Local
interests and the concerns of directly affected parties will be taken into
account during the negotiation process. Any privately-held land that might form
part of a settlement package will be transferred only if there is both a willing
seller and a willing buyer.
will a final settlement look like?
final settlement agreement will bring certainty and finality to the issues under
negotiation in a form that satisfies all three parties. The agreement is
expected to take the form of a modern-day treaty and the rights of the
Algonquins under it will receive constitutional protection. It will clarify
interests in lands in the region and give legal force to a lasting and
comprehensive settlement of all outstanding issues.
Claim Negotiations: Quick Facts
• The Canadian Constitution recognizes and affirms Aboriginal and treaty rights that now exist or that may be acquired by way of land claim agreements. The Supreme Court of Canada has established that Aboriginal rights include those practices, customs and traditions that were integral to the culture of a historic Aboriginal people. These rights may include such things has hunting, fishing and gathering.
• There are areas in Canada where Aboriginal peoples claim that their Aboriginal rights and title have not been dealt with by treaty or in any other legal way. To address this fact, the negotiation of modern treaties was established by the Government of Canada in 1973. Since then, over 19 modern treaties have been negotiated across the country. These treaties (mostly in northern Québec and the three territories) involve over 90 Aboriginal communities with over 70,000 members. Negotiations are ongoing across the country at various stages of negotiations and levels of activity.
The Government of Canada established its various claims policies and
processes for resolving claims through negotiations in 1973.
• Private property is not normally expropriated to settle claims and the rights of private land owners to make use of and to access their land are protected. Local interests and the concerns of directly affected parties are taken into account during the negotiation process.
By clarifying land and resource ownership, claims settlements create a
stable and positive climate for economic investment and development on both
Aboriginal lands and in surrounding communities. Modern-day treaty making
promotes partnerships as well as economic benefits. In addition, it builds a new
and more progressive relationship with Aboriginal peoples for today’s world
and into the future.
Algonquin Petition of June 6, 1835
To His Excellency, Major General Sir John Colborne Knight Commander of the Most
Honorable Military Order of the Bath, Lieutenant Governor of the Province of
Upper Canada, etc., etc., etc.
humble Memorial of the Chiefs and Warriors of the Algonquin and Nipissingue
Indians, in the Name of themselves and their respective Nations, Tribes,
we, the Indian Chiefs and Warriors who now most respectfully approach your
Excellency, do for ourselves and our respective Nations, Tribes, and Kindred,
humbly and obediently implore your Excellency as our temporal Father and
Protector, to vouchsafe your gracious Intention to and Consideration of this the
humble Memorial of the Grievances and Deprivations which we your Red Children
have long endured patiently and submissively without Complaint, under the
Conviction, however, that those Grievances, now becoming more and more
burdensome, when made known to your Excellency our Father would obtain
Retribution, Justice and Equity having ever been co-ordinate with the Government
over which you continue so meritoriously to preside.
most humbly beg to expose to your Excellency our Father, that we and our
Ancestors have immemorially, or from the remotest Antiquity, held, used,
occupied, possessed, and enjoyed as Hunting Grounds the Tract of Land lying on
either Side of the River Ottawa and Little Rivers as far as Lake Nipissing, that
is to say, comprehending both Banks of the River Ottawa and of the River
Matawangue, called by the Voyageurs the Little River, to the Height of Land
separating the Waters of the Lake Nipissing from those of. the Little River,
together with the Countries Watered by several tributary streams of the River
Ottawa and Little Rivers running North and South from their Sources. The above
tract of land is bounded to the southward by a ridge of land separating the
waters which fall into the Lakes and into the River St. Lawrence from those
failing to the - Northward and into the River Ottawa. The Distance from the
Township of Hawksbury (Pointe D'Original) to Lake Nipissingue by Canoe
Navigation is computed at 117 Leagues, 100 of which comprise the River Ottawa to
the junction of the Little River, with the River Matawangue. The actual
Settlement at present by the Whites extending from the said Township of
Hawksbury to the last settlement inclusive --
our Great Father George III, of glorious Memory, by his Royal Proclamation given
at the Court of St. James the 17th Day of October 1763, promulgated to us your
Red Children, and the other Indian Tribes of North America, by the Honorable Sir
William Johnson, Bart, our Great Father's Superintendent of Indian Affairs, in a
Proclamation dated at Johnson Hall on the 24th Day of December 1763, did
expressly declare and provide, "That the Lands claimed by the Indians as
their Hunting Grounds are reserved to them for that Purpose, and that they shall
not under any Pretence whatever be molested or disturbed in the Possession
thereof unless they should be inclined to dispose of the same;" in which
Case it is further declared and provided, "that the same shall be purchased
for our Great Father in His Royal Name at some public Meeting or Assembly to
held for that Purpose by the Governor or Commander in Chief."
may it please your Excellency our Father, extensive Grants have been made, and
converted or erected into Townships and Settlements for the Whites, by your
Excellency's Predecessors, of the Territory so immemorially held, used,
occupied, possessed, and enjoyed by us your Red Children as Hunting Grounds,
without regard to and notwithstanding the Provisions of the above Royal
Proclamation of our Great Father, no Purchase or Compensation for the Lands so
taken and dismembered from our Hunting Grounds ever having been made of or to us
or any of our Tribes, Nations, or Kindred, although in all similar instances
where Lands claimed by contemporary Tribes in Upper Canada have been required by
our Great Father, the same have been uniformly purchased at a stipulated price
or for some certain compensation in obedience to the above Royal Proclamation of
our Great Father.
it may please your Excellency our Father, We the Algonquin and Nipissingue
Indians do not possess any Lands yielding to us any Revenue and hence are solely
dependent upon the Chase on our Hunting Grounds for support and Maintenance, and
although your Red Children have not failed to view the progressive Settlement by
the Whites of our Hunting Grounds from the Township of Hawksbury to the last
Settlement inclusive as a Forgetfulness of the above Royal Proclamation of our
Great Father, we have nevertheless abstained hitherto from preferring any
Representation on the Subject to the Government whereof your Excellency our
Father is now at the Head, but observing that the present rapidly increasing
Settlement of the Upper Province, and of that Part thereof comprehending the
Hunting Grounds of your Red Children lying on the South Side of the River
Ottawa, and that the indiscriminate and wanton Destruction by the Whites or new
Settlers of the Beaver and other Animals from which the most valuable Furs are
derived will ere long annihilate our Chase and deprive us of the sole means
which have hitherto been the support of our Tribes from long and immemorial
Custom, we are irresistibly compelled to supplicate the Aid and Protection of
your Excellency our Father touching our humble claim to reasonable
Indemnification for the Lands on the South Side of the River Ottawa, thus
dismembered from our Hunting Grounds without Purchase or Compensation
[notwithstanding the above Royal Proclamation of] our Great Father the King.
may it please your Excellency our Father, we your Red Children of the Tribes of
the Algonquin and Nipissingue Indians do not presume or venture to entertain the
Belief that the Lands already dismembered from our Hunting Grounds, and
converted and erected into Townships for Settlement by the Government over which
your Excellency our Father now presides, will be restored to us but we do
believe that a fair and reasonable Compensation for the Lands lying on the South
Side of the River Ottawa so dismembered from our Hunting Grounds will be allowed
and conceded unto us in obedience to the above Royal Proclamation of our Great
Father. And we do humbly and confidently appeal to your Excellency our Father to
ratify and confirm to us your Red Children the Use, Occupation, and Possession
of the Hunting Grounds on the South Side of the River Ottawa which yet are
reserved to us, and that in case we, your Red Children, or our Descendants may
at any Time hereafter be inclined to dispose of the said Lands, that the same be
purchased for our Great Father in His Royal Name at such public Meeting or
Assembly of the Indians to be held for that Purpose. And moreover we humbly pray
that your Excellency our Father will be pleased to command, by Proclamation or
otherwise, that all Intruders or Squatters do forthwith depart from and leave
undisturbed and unmolested the Hunting Grounds yet reserved to and possessed by
your Red Children, the whole in obedience to the above Royal Proclamation of our
do by this our Memorial humbly submit to your Excellency our Father the
foregoing Representation of the Grievances land Deprivations which we your Red
Children have endured and are likely to endure from the gradual Dismemberment of
our Hunting Grounds, possessed by us immemorially, and reserved and confirmed to
us by the above Royal Proclamation of our Great Father of glorious Memory; and
while we humbly recall to Your Excellency Our Father that our Tribes have
respectively been distinguished for Fidelity, Bravery, and general good Conduct
and Attachment to the Royal Cause of our Great Father, particularly during the
American Rebellion, we do yet wholly repose on the Wisdom of your Excellency our
Father, to whom we humbly pray for the Redress of our Grievances and
Deprivations, and for the Dispensation of justice and Equity touching the same.
as in Duty bound we your Red Children will every pray.
etc., etc. .......
etc., etc. .......
6th June 1835
I certify that this is a true & correct copy -
S. nd. Dept.
P.A.C., R.G. 10, Vol. 96, pp. 39561-39566] Canada Archives
Page created by: muckwa
Changes last made on: November 3, 2007.