March 18, 2019 — Ottawa, ONT — Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
The Government of Canada is committed to working in partnership with Indigenous peoples to renew the relationship based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership.
Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, and Band Councillor Frankie Cote of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding on reconciliation and the settlement agreement of 29 specific claims related to the surrender of reserve lands.
This Memorandum of Understanding will help guide the Government of Canada and Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg as they work in partnership to explore new ways to strengthen their relationship and address the priorities identified by the First Nation. The discussions under the Memorandum of Understanding will cover many topics, including Aboriginal title, rights recognition, socio-economic development, consultation and self-determination. The goal of this process is to move forward together to find shared and balanced solutions that advance reconciliation in a way that respects the interests of the First Nation and all Canadians.
For the settlement agreement of the specific claims, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation and Canada have resolved all the surrender claims within the town of Maniwaki through one negotiations process. Through continued dialogue and partnership, the parties developed an innovative approach to bundle the claims in order to facilitate their assessment and negotiation under the concept of a global settlement project. A total of 29 individual claims have been negotiated, resulting in a global settlement offer of over $116 million that was accepted by the First Nation leadership and the members of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation through a successful ratification vote.
“Today, we take an important step to renew and strengthen our nation-to-nation relationship with Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation. This signing demonstrates our commitment to working as partners to find shared solutions that address outstanding issues, help close socio-economic gaps and advance reconciliation for the benefit of community members and all Canadians.”
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
“This is a monumental occasion for the people of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg. With the signing and settling of the Global Settlement, we see this occasion as turning the page and the closing of one of the chapter’s in Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg’s history. The next chapter in our history is beginning and, through the MOU, we are working with Canada to address important issues and priorities that have been outstanding for far too long. Together, we are moving away from the past where extinguishing rights was a requirement and moving on a path where we take our rightful place as an equal partner with Canada.”
Frankie Cote, Band Councillor
Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg
“This is an important milestone for reconciliation, not only between the Crown and the Algonquin community of Kitigan Zibi, but particularly for indigenous and non-indigenous people across the National Capital Region. I want to congratulate my constituents in Kitigan Zibi and the Government of Canada for taking this step.”
Member of Parliament for Pontiac
Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation is over 3,400 members and is located near the municipality of Maniwaki, Quebec.
The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding is the result of a co-operative dialogue between Canada and Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation that began in August 2017.
The Memorandum of Understanding is flexible and sets out opportunities for the eight other Quebec Algonquin First Nations to opt to join in this reconciliation process should they wish.
The proposed settlement agreement of the 29 specific claims was ratified by the members of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation on January 5, 2019.
The parties agreed on a compensation of $116,801,811 million to settle the 29 individual claims.
With the compensation, the First Nation will be able to request that 363 acres of land, purchased on a willing-seller/willing-buyer basis, be added to the reserve.