Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation

Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation

January 25, 2010 11:30 ET

Claim Settlement on the Horizon for Canada and Mississaugas of the New Credit

HAGERSVILLE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 25, 2010) - A major breakthrough in claim talks was announced today by the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians, and Chief Bryan LaForme of the Mississaugas of the New Credit (MNC) First Nation.

Canada has made an offer to settle the Brant Tract and the Toronto Purchase specific claims. The First Nation has agreed to take this settlement offer to its members for a vote. The proposed settlement includes $145 million in financial compensation to resolve both claims.

"The progress achieved at this table shows that claim talks can deliver tangible results when partners work together to find common solutions," said Minister Strahl, who joined community members and students at a celebratory event held today at the Lloyd S. King Elementary School. "Together, we have taken a decisive step forward to settle an outstanding dispute tied to the history of Canada's largest city."

"The Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation has a history of providing our members with the opportunity to participate in important community decisions," said Chief LaForme. "The culmination of these negotiations will allow us to ensure our membership has input into the Trust Agreement and settlement of the claim. A series of meetings will be held to provide our membership with a thorough understanding of what this proposed offer by the Government of Canada entails. A ratification vote will follow later this spring."

This settlement offer involves two claims - one claim deals with a 1797 land purchase and the other claim relates to the Toronto Purchase of 1805. The basis of the two claims is that Canada did not provide the First Nation with adequate compensation for the land at the time of purchase. The current ownership of land is not in question on either claim. These claims are for financial compensation only.

Specific claims settlements right past wrongs and honour Canada's lawful obligations to First Nations. They also provide First Nations with the capital to invest in new opportunities for economic development and new business partnerships. These investments can bring economic benefits to the First Nation and surrounding communities.

The next step in the resolution process is for the negotiators to draft the legal text of a Settlement Agreement. The First Nation must also prepare a Trust Agreement in consultation with its members. 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 the First Nation's membership. If a favourable vote is reached, the Settlement Agreement must also be approved by Canada before it can be finalized.

The Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation has approximately 1,842 members and is located adjacent to Hagersville near Hamilton, Ontario.

This news release and backgrounder are also available on the Internet at: www.inac.gc.ca.

More information available on New Credit's website at:
http://www.newcreditfirstnation.com/

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Contact Information

  • Minister's Office
    Michelle Yao
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
    819-997-0002
    or
    Media Relations
    Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
    819-953-1160
    or
    Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation
    Chief Bryan LaForme
    905-768-1133
    or
    Kim Alexander Fullerton
    Legal Counsel
    905-849-1700