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Canada, Ontario reach historic $10 billion proposed First Nations treaty settlement

Leaders of the Robinson Huron Treaty Litigation Fund say they’ve reached a proposed $10-billion settlement with the governments of Ontario and Canada over unpaid annuities for using their lands.

The fund, which represents the 21 Robinson Huron First Nations, announced Saturday that the proposal will resolve claims only tied to past unpaid annuities which stretch back more than 170 years.

The Robinson-Huron Treaty was signed in 1850 and committed to paying the First Nations groups annual amounts tied to resource revenues.

But the annuity only increased once in 1875 when it rose from about $1.70 per person to $4 per person. It hasn’t increased since.

The proposed out-of-court settlement will see the federal government pay half the sum, while the other half will come from the province.

Spokesperson Duke Peltier, who represents the Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory, noted the 21 First Nations came together in 2012 to seek a settlement through the courts, but that ultimately one was reached at a negotiation table after talks began in April 2022.

“We know reconciliation cannot be achieved in the courtroom,” he said in a statement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 18, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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