Land Claim Negotiations Update

The monthly Algonquin Negotiation Representative (ANR) and the Main Table negotiation meetings are continuing. Chapters for the Agreement in Principle (AIP) have been drafted by the parties and a tentative agreement reached to include a number of elements, such as:

  • Eligibility Enrolment for Voters and Beneficiaries (subject to further work on Community Acceptance, Custom Adoption and Community Affiliation)
  • Claims Institutions (these are the trusts that will hold the settlement lands and monies)
  • Lands
  • Harvesting
  • Parks and Protected Areas
  • Burial Sites (including archaeological issues)
  • Forestry and Dispute Resolution

A number of elections in 2011, including the federal, provincial, Pikwakanagan Chief and Council, and the ANR Elections, as well as the Voter Enrolment process, all to some extent delayed the progress of the AIP negotiations.  Notwithstanding these interruptions, we have made considerable headway.  In our view, we are at that make or break point where the critical terms of the AIP will either be agreed upon within the next few months, or not.  We are optimistic that the terms of the Agreement-in-Principle can be achieved and that they will be submitted to you for your approval in the coming year.


Community Meetings

As the negotiations on the elements of the AIP reach their critical stage we have chosen to hold the monthly ANR and Main Table meetings at the Pembroke Consultation Office which has more sophisticated technical facilities to accommodate these meetings.  As soon as the AIP takes shape we will resume having the monthly meetings (hopefully early in the new year) in the various Communities so that a Community meeting can be held during the week of negotiations with all negotiating teams present to field questions and brief you on our progress.  Chief and Council have had monthly Negotiation update meetings in Pikwakanagan with the Elders, the Youth and for the Community. 


Progress on Land Selection

Jim Hunton, the Land Selection Lead and Technical Advisor for the Algonquins of Ontario, in conjunction with the ANRs have had ongoing discussions with Ontario and Canada to complete a number of “tentative” land selections within the Algonquin Territory as part of the negotiation process.  While we have made some real progress with respect to the land selections we are diligently working to move further in this area.


2011 ANR Elections

The Election of the Algonquin of Pikwakanagan First Nation (AOPFN) Chief and Council and the ANR Elections, both of which are held every three years, were completed in 2011.  Two new ANRs, Ron Bernard and Dan Kohoko, were elected as Councillors from Pikwakanagan, and joined the negotiation team. ANR elections were also held in the communities of Ottawa and Whitney and Area and the incumbent ANRs were re-elected.  All of the other candidates were re-elected by acclamation in the remaining seven communities.  Your 16 Algonquin Negotiation Representatives and the community that they are affiliated with are as follows:

 

Clifford Bastien JR
Mattawa/North Bay

Patrick Glassford
Greater Golden Lake

Cliff Meness
AOPFN

Ron L. Bernard
AOPFN

Davie Joanisse
Antoine

Jim Meness
AOPFN

Katherine Cannon
Bancroft

Sherry Kohoko
AOPFN

Kirby Whiteduck
AOPFN

Lynn Clouthier
Ottawa

Dan Kohoko
AOPFN

Richard Zohr
Bonnechere

Bob Craftchick
Whitney and Area

H. Jerrow Lavalley
AOPFN

 

Doreen Davis
Shabot Obaadjiwan

Randy Malcolm
Snimikobi

 

 


We acknowledge, with grateful appreciation the contributions of Vicky Two-Axe and Richard Sarazin, both of whom served as Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation Councillors and ANRs, but did not seek re-election this time around.

Further Enrolment of Voters

The “initial” Voter Enrolment process which commenced in December 2010 to identify persons who would be eligible to vote on the AIP (and also to serve as ongoing “Electors” for the election of ANRs) was completed in February of this year.  

The Ratification Committee reviewed thousands of applications and applied the criteria established by the AOO, Canada and Ontario as to who is eligible to be an Algonquin Voter for the AIP.  Applicants were notified as to whether they met the criteria or not.  Individuals deemed eligible as Algonquin Voters appeared on the Preliminary Voters List posted in late March 2011. A Supplementary Voters List was also posted in late April.

The ANRs and Pikwakanagan continue to receive completed AIP Voter Application Forms.  The applications identifying the applicant as being a Member of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation are forwarded to Jan Leroux, Manager, Lands Estates and Membership for certification.  Applications from non- Pikwakanagan Members are being forwarded to Joan Holmes, AOO Enrolment Officer, who is charged with the responsibility of certifying each applicant’s direct connection to an Algonquin Ancestor and the life events portion of t he application.  A second review and approval process by the Ratification Committee on any further applications will be resumed once it is likely that an AIP will be available for Voter approval.  Meanwhile, please encourage your family members and other Algonquins who have not yet enrolled to complete an AIP Voter Application Form, and submit it for processing. If you need an AIP Voter Application Form, contact Sherrylyn Sarazin at Council Chambers.

Research on Asserted Métis Rights-Bearing Community in Mattawa Region

The Métis Nation of Ontario (“MNO”) has asserted that a “rights-bearing” Métis community exists in the Mattawa area.  The AOO has already commissioned Joan Holmes & Associates to investigate certain threshold historical issues and it is our conclusion that no such distinctive Métis community existed at the legally significant date, applying the 2003 Supreme Court of Canada decision in R. v. Powley.
We have recently learned that after a lengthy delay, the MNO, Ontario and Canada have agreed to jointly commission research into the existence of the asserted Métis community.  The respected research firm Public History Inc. has been selected to conduct the historical research, with an anticipated completion date for their report by March 31, 2012.  Ms. Holmes’ research paper together with the other research papers commissioned by Ontario which reached much the same conclusion as Ms. Holmes have been provided to this researcher.  We will continue to carefully monitor this process and keep you posted on further developments.

Algonquins of Ontario Initiatives

While negotiations were moving forward, and with the assistance of legal counsel Alan Pratt, Jim Hunton and Janet Stavinga, Executive Director of the AOO Consultation Office, a number of very exciting initiatives have taken shape.  A few of these are described below:

  • A protocol with the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry was entered into by the AOO which is the first of its kind in the province and sets out guidelines for mineral exploration within the Algonquin Territory.
  • Steps towards finalizing an archeology protocol with the City of Ottawa continue.
  • An AOO position paper on the protection of the American Eel is underway.
  • Efforts to build and strengthen relationships with Parks Canada and the National Capital Commission move forward as well as the exploration of various federal real estate initiatives.
  • Work continues on a Memorandum of Understanding regarding Algonquin access and use of Small Craft Harbour facilities throughout the Algonquin Traditional Territory.
  • The CFB Rockcliffe Participation Agreement has been executed and is in the process of being implemented.
  • Algonquin input into the Lansdowne Park Redevelopment in Ottawa is continuing.
  • An innovative partnership with the City of Ottawa to celebrate Algonquin art, culture and heritage through the Ottawa Light Rail Transit project gains momentum as LeBreton Flats has been identified as an “Algonquin centred” transit station. The location of this station is of particular significance to the Algonquins as it is within close proximity to Chaudière Falls and Victoria Island, both of which are sacred gathering places for the Algonquins since time immemorial.
  • Turtle Island Consulting Services Inc. has been retained to assist in the development of an inaugural AOO Forest Stewardship Strategic Plan. This effort will also help inform the development of the Forestry Chapter to be included in the AIP.
  • The 2011 Nation Gathering was held at Sharbot Lake Beach on July 16. The 2012 Nation Gathering will be held on July 14, 2012 in Pembroke.
  • The AOO Nation Flag and Logo Contest has begun. Submissions must be original and representative of the Algonquin people. You could win $500 cash for each of your original flag and logo entries. The deadline for entries is December 31, 2011. For more information, contact the AOO Consultation Office at 613-735-3759 or algonquins@nrtco.net.
Changes to the Web Address

The address for the website on the Algonquin Treaty Negotiations is now http://www.blaneyalgonquin.com/.

Thank you again for your ongoing interest and support for this historic process.