Monday, 3 June 2013

Algonquins of Ontario Land Treaties: Agreement-in-Principle (AIP)

Who are the Algonquins?
A widely dispersed group!
I was excited to attend a meeting to explain the process in the land claims settlements. It was attended by 34 people.

Negotiator Bob Potts gave us an excellent overview of the process.

One councillor opened by questioning the rights of 'normal people' to access Crown Land, and to limit access, i.e., hunters, from hunting on private land.

To us 'normal people', and I consider myself normal as I am NOT a politician, I am proud that somebody has finally sat down and found consensus with the Algonquins of south and central Ontario.
MPP Randy Hillier
Mr. 'Back Off Government'
It was in 1603 the Samuel de Champlain first sailed the Ottawa River, with help from Native Peoples. They brought disease. They took land.

It is shameful that it was in 1772 that they first petitioned the Crown, via the Governor of the time, to set up Aboriginal Title Rights. Unfortunately, each Governor would travel back to England, having been replaced, and they would begin anew. Shameful.

The role of municipalities
The municipalities are going to have to see this as an opportunity for growth. To embrace the future.
The politicians are going to have to figure out how to manage their new constituents, and to further understand First Nations in their municipalities. This meeting was a good one to help break down stereotypes, and build bridges and build friendships. Not all managed to do so at this meeting, nor at the vitriolic first meeting held last month.

It is with hope that this treaty will be finalised, completed and signed in 15 years, they told us. This AIP was begun in 2005, and it took them until December of 2012 to work it out.

 There are many lobby groups who have been after the team to look after vested interests:

  • Hunt camp owners, hunters, cottager associations, aggregate pit owners, municipalities, OFSC sledders, to name a few.
It is my fervent hope that this process continues.  The Algonquin Nation has shown a deep respect for the land. 

Moose Hunting Tag System
They have established and maintained a 5-year moose hunting tag system, to limit hunting to numbers that are manageable by 
the moose population. They have worked with the MNR to determine appropriate culls. They plan a Fish Management program, too.

Who attended?
I counted 34 people.
  • 5 media people (2 from EMC)
  • 11 staff on the team
  • 7 local municipal politicians (councillors/deputy mayor/mayor, etc. from various municipalities)
  • 1 MPP
In total there are 80 municipalities involved, the city of Ottawa, as well as the various lobby groups.
It is a huge venture.

It is a wonderful opportunity for all involved to live, work, and play with our Algonquin Nation brothers and sisters and how wonderful of them to share this land with us! (We 'normal people', from away! 
These negotiations are an opportunity to embrace the new millennium. Colonisation of the past destroyed a complex society of First Nations. Let us hope that this treaty will model my hope for the future.

 For more information:
 The Algonquin Nation

 links to pertinent documents
For more information

Article about the previous meeting:

Negotiators dismiss anglers, hunters claims as "categorically, inappropriately wrong"

Posted Feb 28, 2013 By Desmond Devoy
EMC News - The chief negotiator for the Algonquins of Ontario is hitting back at claims made at a recent meeting that private property will be handed over to the First Nations community. Bob Potts, chief negotiator for the Algonquins of Ontario, speaking...

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