Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

January 18, 2010 14:04 ET

Canada and the Caldwell First Nation Reach Major Milestone in Claim Settlement Process

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 18, 2010) - The Government of Canada and the Caldwell First Nation have taken a decisive step forward in talks to resolve an outstanding specific claim in southwestern Ontario.

Canada has tabled a settlement offer and the Caldwell First Nation has agreed to take this offer to its members for a vote. The proposed settlement includes $105 million in financial compensation to resolve the claim. This specific claim dates back to events that took place over 200 years ago.

"The progress made in these talks shows what can be accomplished when government and First Nations work together on a common solution," said Dave Van Kesteren, Member of Parliament for Chatham-Kent-Essex on behalf of the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians. "This is a major accomplishment in joint efforts to bring closure to this longstanding claim."

Chief Louise Hillier of the Caldwell First Nation is pleased that this longstanding issue is moving towards resolution. "We have been waiting a long time for the promises made to us to be honoured," she said.

The next step in the resolution process is for the negotiators to draft a Settlement Agreement. When this work is complete, the First Nation will launch an information campaign to explain the proposed settlement to its members. No settlement is possible without the vote and approval of First Nation members. If a favourable vote is reached, the next step is for the parties to sign the Settlement Agreement. The agreement would not be final until it is signed by both parties.

Claim settlements right past wrongs while protecting the rights of private land owners. Land is not taken away from anyone to settle any claims, nor is anyone asked to sell their land unwillingly.

The Government of Canada is committed to resolving outstanding specific claims for the benefit of all Canadians. Claim settlements not only resolve past grievances, but also bring long-term economic benefits to First Nations and neighbouring communities.

This news release is also available on the Internet at:

Receive all our news and media updates automatically. For more information or to sign up for our Media Room feed, visit:

Contact Information

  • Minister's Office
    Michelle Yao
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
    INAC Media Relations
    Caldwell First Nation
    Chief Louise Hillier