Algonquin Anishinabe Nation files Aboriginal Title Claim to Ottawa Lands

Algonquin Anishinabe Nation files Aboriginal Title Claim to Ottawa Lands
Posted on December 12, 2016 | Unpublished Admin | Written on December 8, 2016
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Letter type:
Announcement

Author's Note:

Author's Note:

Last week the Algonquin First Nations from the Kitigan Zibi reserve near Maniwaki, Que. filed a statement of claim for lands in downtown Ottawa including the property where Parliament Hill, the Supreme Court of Canada, the National Archives and the War Museum are currently located.

Their media release and statement of claim are below. 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Algonquin Anishinabe Nation files Aboriginal Title Claim to Ottawa Lands

OTTAWA, 08-December-2016: The Algonquin Anishinabe Nation filed an historic aboriginal title claim to downtown Ottawa yesterday. The claim seeks judicial recognition of Algonquin title and is a crucial step towards the fair, respectful and just treatment of the Algonquin people and their historic and continuing connection to the Ottawa Valley.

The Algonquin have occupied the Ottawa Valley for thousands of years, yet the Crown has never treated with the greater Algonquin Nation, nor reconciled Algonquin title with the development and settlement of the Ottawa Valley.

Algonquin history in Ottawa and the surrounding areas is rich: Samuel Champlain met the Algonquins in 1613 downstream of what is now modern day Ottawa, at a time when waterways (not highways) defined trade, transport, and territory. This meeting marked the beginning of frequent interactions between Europeans and Algonquins along the Ottawa River and surrounding lands, including the lands on which Ottawa was built.

Through to this day the Algonquins have never ceded their lands. The Algonquin have consistently viewed their lands, including those that are the subject of the claim, as their own. Despite the deep Algonquin connection to Ottawa, the Crown continues to alienate Algonquin lands, without addressing Algonquin title.

“Canada should be embarrassed by its history – here we are on the eve of Canada’s bicentennial and the Crown has never addressed the fact that Parliament, the Supreme Court of Canada and the Library and Archives Canada are built on unceded Algonquin land.” says Chief Jean-Guy Whiteduck, whose band Kitigan Zibi has brought the claim on behalf of all Algonquin Anishinabe people.

The claim includes the lands on which Parliament and the Supreme Court of Canada are built, as well as LeBreton Flats, and Chaudiere, Albert and Victoria Islands. According to Chief Whiteduck: “We have brought this claim to the courts as a last resort – we are tired of being ignored by the Crown and it is time for the Crown to address our Aboriginal title throughout Ottawa and the surrounding areas”.

The claim was filed a day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised reconciliation to the Assembly of First Nations. The AFN has been hosting the Special Chiefs Assembly entitled “Advancing Reconciliation” this week in Gatineau.

For more information, please contact Chief Jean-Guy Whiteduck at Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg: 819-449- 5298.

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