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  Crown Canada
(Land Claims Process)
Crown Canada (Land Claims Process)
•   In March of 1997, a Joint Task Force on Claims Policy Reform was established to work towards an independent and authoritative body to manage claims, assist in claims negotiations and to determine any issues that cannot be directly resolved by the parties at the negotiating table.
•   First Nations are to present the legal basis of claims even though the Crown does not have to do the same.
•   A conflict of interest is created when the Department of Indian Affairs, who makes funding decisions, also decides the validity and settlement of any claim.
The Haldimand Treaty of 1784
Whereas His Majesty having been pleased to direct that in consideration of the early attachment to his cause manifested by the Mohawk Indians and of the loss of their settlement which they thereby sustained - that a ...   View More
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Crown Canada (Land Claims Process)
In July 1973, the Office of Native Claims, within Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, was created to review claims with Native Groups. Canada's Specific Claims Policy "Outstanding Business" was created in 1982 to address the many illegal acts and injustices attributable to the Crown in Right of Canada and its Agents.

These breaches are based on:

  1. The non-fulfillment of a treaty or agreement between Indians and the Crown;
  2. A breach of an obligation arising out of the Indian Act or other statutes pertaining to Indians and the regulations thereunder;
  3. A breach of an obligation arising out of government administration of Indian funds or other assets;
  4. An illegal disposition of Indian land;
  5. Failure to provide compensation for reserve lands taken or damaged by the federal government or any of its agencies under authority; and
  6. Fraud in connection with the acquisition or disposition of Indian reserve land by employees or agents of the federal government, in cases where the fraud can be clearly demonstrated.
Canada’s Specific Claims Policy was amended on April 25, 1991, which included: the formation of an Indian Specific Claims Commission and the acceptance of pre-Confederation claims. Only a small percentage of specific claims have been settled through negotiations or resolved by courts.

In 2007, the Minister announced Justice at Last: Specific Claims Action Plan as a way to accelerate the resolutions of Specific Claims. The Specific Claims Tribunal Act came into effect in October, 2008 as a result of this Action Plan. The Tribunal is an alternative to the courts on reaching a settlement but must meet certain criteria and settlement under $150 million. However, the majority of Six Nations claims are over this $150 million dollar settlement limit.

SEE: http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca
- - Specific Claims Policy and Process Guide, published under the authority of the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians, Ottawa, 2009

Some Quick Facts on the History of Canada’s Land Claim System:
1947 – It was recommended by the Special Joint Committee of the Senate and the House of Commons that a commission be set up to settle claims.
1973 – The “Specific Claims Policy” was developed by Canada as an alternative to litigation.
1979 – It was recommended that an independent body be created to resolve land claims. It was a conflict of interest to have the government involved in resolving land claims against itself.
1991 – An Indian Specific Claims Commission was established to provide mediation and conduct reviews dealing with rejected claims outside the courts.
1998 – It was recommended by a Joint First Nations/Canada Task Force on Specific Claims Policy reform to create an independent claims commission and tribunal to help resolve disputes.
2007, June – It was proposed by the Federal Government that major reforms of the specific claims process be conducted, including a creation of an independent tribunal, faster processing of claims, and better access to mediation.
2007, November – A Specific Claims Tribunal Act was developed between the Canadian Government and the AFN and introduced in the House of Commons.
2008, October - Specific Claims Tribunal Act came into effect. This Legislation created an independent tribunal with the power to make binding decisions on the validity of and compensation for specific claims.
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