Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

July 26, 2011 16:31 ET

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada: Statement by the Honourable John Duncan on the Three-Year Time Frames for Negotiating Specific Claim Settlements

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 26, 2011) - The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, today issued the following statement:

"Recent media reports about the Government of Canada's approach at specific claim negotiating tables have included inaccuracies.

Despite these reports, our Government is, in fact, continuing to work with First Nations to resolve land claims in a timely manner and to the benefit of all Canadians. First Nations raised concerns in the past about the slow pace of progress in resolving outstanding claims. To address their concerns, we have adopted a new approach to speed up claims resolution. This includes three year time frames for negotiating settlements that were set out in the jointly developed Specific Claims Tribunal Act.

Our government is working with First Nations to conclude settlements within a three- year time frame whenever possible. We remain serious about our commitment to continue to negotiate and resolve specific claims. We are taking concrete action to deliver on that commitment for the benefit of First Nations and all Canadians.

The Justice At Last: Specific Claims Action Plan has a strong record and is delivering concrete results. Since 2007, our Government has successfully addressed over 445 specific claims overall. Furthermore a key area of focus in our recent Canada-First Nations Joint Action Plan is negotiation and implementation.

Negotiations continue to be Canada's first choice for resolving specific claims and we are working with First Nations to that end. However, First Nations can now opt to refer their claims to the Tribunal for a binding decision if three years of negotiations do not result in a final settlement."

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Contact Information

  • Minister's Office
    Michelle Yao
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Honourable John Duncan

    Media Relations
    Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada