2498 Chiefswood Road  •  P.O. Box 5000 Ohsweken ON  •  N0A 1M0                           Home     |      Contact Us    |     Privacy
  Litigation
Inadequacy of Crown
Canada's Claim
Policy and Process

Six Nations of the
Grand River v. Canada
and Ontario

  Amended Statement
of Claim
- March 7, 1995

  Table of
Litigation Process

  Litigation Chronology
Litigation
•   Once a claim is recommended for acceptance as valid, it is sent to the Minister of Indian Affairs for approval. This constitutes direct political interference.
•   Six Nations filed a Statement of Claim on March 7, 1995 against the Crown Canada and Ontario requesting an accounting of all land and monetary transactions held in trust by the Crown.
•   The Claims Policy is applied in an inconsistent and highly arbitrary manner depending far too much on the Senior Bureaucrat or Justice Advisor assigned to the claim.
•   The claims process uses arbitrary standards such as "degree of doubt", "discounting" and "special value to the owner".
•   Four claims have been validated for negotiations, they are Innisfil and East Hawkesbury Townships; Block No. 5, Moulton Township; and Lands Flooded by the Welland Canal.
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
Return to
Home Page
Litigation - Six Nations of the Grand River v. Canada and Ontario
Negotiations to resolve the Block #5 Moulton Township Claim (30,800 Acres) and the Flooding of Six Nations Lands by the Welland Canal Feeder Dam (2,415.60 Acres), could not be achieved under the Federal Claims Resolution Process. Arbitrary discount factors as required by Canada’s Specific Claims Policy were not acceptable to the Six Nations Council. The most offensive term of the negotiations was the pre-requisite for extinguishments of our children's rights to the lands at issue.

It was at this point that the Six Nations Council directed the law firm of Blake, Cassels & Graydon, LLP to proceed with a Statement of Claim against the Crown in Right of Canada and the Crown in Right of Ontario.

The Six Nations of the Grand River gave formal notice to the Federal and Provincial Governments on December 23, 1994 and filed a Statement of Claim on March 7, 1995 on the legal proceedings regarding the Crowns handling of the Six Nations’ property both before and after Confederation. Six Nations seek from the Crown a comprehensive general accounting for all money, real property or other assets belonging to the Six Nations of the Grand River which was or ought to have been received or held by the Crown for the benefit of the Six Nations, and of the manner in which the Crown managed or disposed of such assets.

Since April 1995, Canada has ceased all research dollars normally allocated to the Six Nations Lands and Resources Department. This is despite Six Nations' assurances that any research dollars normally allocated would not be used in any form to support litigation proceedings.

Six Nations have included the best examples of Government mismanagement by Canada and Ontario in the Statement of Claim.

These examples include:

The Haldimand Treaty dated October 25, 1784 was issued by Sir Frederick Haldimand, Governor of Canada, authorizing Six Nations to take possession of and settle upon the banks of the Grand River running into Lake Erie, allocating to them the lands extending for six miles from each side of the river beginning at Lake Erie to the head of the Grand River. The lands consisted of approximately 950,000 acres, which the members of the Six Nations were to enjoy forever.

The Simcoe Patent dated January 14, 1793 purporting to grant the lands reserved to the Six Nations by the Haldimand Treaty failed to include 275,000 acres of land located north of the Township of Nichol extending six miles on either side of the Grand River to where the headwaters of the river are found in the Township of Melancthon.

The Province of Upper Canada (now Ontario) granted Thomas Douglas, the Earl of Selkirk, lands known as Block No. 5 (the entire Township of Moulton) on November 18, 1807, without obtaining the consent of the Six Nations. Selkirk mortgaged the lands back to the Province, but the Crown failed to collect any payments owing under the mortgage since at least February, 1853.

On February 5, 1798, one Benjamin Canby was granted the title to lands known as Block No. 6 (the Township of Canborough) by the Province of Upper Canada without making any payment for the lands or pledging any security. Six Nations did not give their consent to the Province’s gift of security nor did they give their consent to the Province’s gift of Six Nations’ land to Mr. Canby. The Province acknowledged on a number of occasions that this transaction was improper, but nothing was done by the Crown to rectify this breach of trust.

The Deputy Superintendent General and Inspector General of Indian Affairs for the Province of Upper Canada, Colonel William Claus, took money from the Six Nations’ Trust in the early 1800’s. When the Province discovered the theft, it decided to obtain land in Innisfil and East Hawkesbury Townships from Mr. Claus’ estate as compensation. The Crown failed to obtain a proper conveyance of the lands from Mr. Claus’ estate. The Crown then began transferring the lands to settlers in 1840 without the consent of Six Nations and subsequently found itself embroiled in litigation over defective title to the property. The Crown lost the case, paid legal costs out of the Six Nations’ Trust, and paid monies to the Claus Estate to settle the litigation without the consent of the Six Nations.

Between 1829 and 1835, Six Nations’ land was expropriated for the construction of the Welland Canal. Compensation for the land taken was not made to the Six Nations, even though compensation was paid to other land owners affected by the construction of canal. The canal lands were assumed by the government of Canada in 1867. The government of Canada undertook a number of valuations of the lands taken but compensation was never paid.

Starting in 1834, and continuing for many years, the Province of Upper Canada invested Six Nations money to support the speculative adventures of the Grand River Navigation Company (GRNC), and granted to the GRNC lands of the Six Nations without consent or payment. These investments were for the benefit of private promoters of the GRNC. The GRNC was formed for the stated purpose of constructing dams and carrying out other works in order to make the Grand River more navigable and therefore provide a better public transportation link between the Welland Canal and the City of Brantford. The irony is that Six Nations were opposed to this project and yet the government used Six Nations’ trust funds without Six Nations’ knowledge or consent to finance and support the project. The GRNC failed and Six Nations’ monies and lands were lost. The Crown has failed to rectify this breach of trust.

The Crown took over other lands belonging to Six Nations for public or governmental uses without paying for the property taken, such as purported Surrender No. 30 for the Brantford Town Plot and purported Surrender No. 40 for 48,000 acres in the Township of Brantford.

The Crown sold land from the Six Nations Tract to third parties, after Six Nations had only agreed to allow the Crown to lease those lands for Six Nations’ benefit, such as purported Surrender No. 31 for lands on the North Part of the Township of Cayuga and purported Surrender No. 38 for lands in the Township of Dunn and parts of the Townships of Moulton, Canborough and Cayuga.

The Crown granted letters patent for lands known as the Hamilton-Port Dover Plank Road even though Six Nations only wanted to lease these lands and were deprived of continual earnings from these lands.

The Crown frequently disposed of lands from the Six Nations Tract at less than fair market value according to the Crown’s own valuations, such as Lots 25 and 26, Con. 4, in the Township of Dunn, known as Port Maitland.

The Crown decided that the Johnson Settlement lands and other small tracts would be leased on short term leases for the benefit of Six Nations. The Crown then granted letters patents instead of leases for these lands, depriving Six Nations of continual rental revenues. There has been no surrender by Six Nations to the Crown for any of the above-mentioned lands.

The government of Canada failed to protect the interests of Six Nations in the extraction of a natural gas resource lying under Six Nations reserve between 1945 and 1970. The government allowed an oil and gas company to drill and extract gas without proper authority and without paying appropriate compensation to the Six Nations’ Trust.


________________________________


After nearly 10 years in the courts, Six Nations had taken a step to begin discussions with Canada and Ontario. In 2000, the then Minister Robert Nault invited Six Nations to discuss a “Political Protocol” with Canada’s appointed Special Representative Gerry Kerr. These talks broke down when Six Nations realized Mr. Kerr did not have a mandate to pursue settlement options. Canada was never forthcoming with this mandate and at no time did Canada consider putting the litigation “on hold” in a way that protects our rights to pursue our court case in the future while talks were taking place with Mr. Kerr.

Exploration

To better manage the risk and seek a win/win solution, Six Nations, Canada and Ontario developed the idea of an out of court “Exploration Initiative” to determine if it would be possible to break the impasse that has held back claims resolution for years. This initiative would be exploratory talks only, not formal negotiations. All parties agreed to an abeyance of the litigation and the talks would proceed on a without prejudice basis which would protect Six Nations’ rights and legal options. Any of the parties had the option of going back to court if they didn’t feel the process was working for them.

The Exploration started in August 2004 and the Exploration Team was led by Six Nations’ member and lawyer, Kathleen Lickers. After a series of discussions and proposals it was agreed that the Exploration Team would examine two of Six Nations claims in which minimal additional historical research was required. The Exploration Team chose to examine the Port Maitland and the Misappropriation of Six Nations Funds by Samuel P. Jarvis claims with a view to first agreeing to a factual narrative of each claim. The Exploration Team reached an agreement on the narratives in December 2005 and the Six Nations Elected Council approved to proceed with the resolution discussions.

It was the hope of the Exploration Team that these first steps would result in a process that could deal with and ultimately resolve the litigation to the satisfaction of all parties.

Due to the events at the Douglas Creek Estate lands in April, 2006, Six Nations Elected Council did not continue/renew the exploratory talks and decided to participate at the Negotiation Table with Haudenosaunee Six Nations, Canada and Ontario.

  © 2008 Six Nations Council. All rights reserved.
Six Nations Lands and Resources is a Department of the Six Nations Council