Frequently Asked Questions Madawaska Maliseet First Nation Settlement Agreement Canadian Pacific Railway Right of Way Specific Claim
- What is the basis of acceptance of this specific claim?
The Government of Canada accepted to negotiate this claim under the Specific Claims Policy based on allegations brought forward by the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation. According to these allegations, Canada would have breached its fiduciary obligation when it failed to take the necessary steps to protect and preserve the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation's interest in the reserve.
- Where are the claim lands located?
The claim lands are part of the St. Basile no. 10 reserve, where approximately 50 percent of the 228 members of the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation are living. This reserve is located 1.6 km east of Edmundston in the north-western region of New Brunswick.
- Why did the parties agree to negotiate?
The Government of Canada accepted the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation claim for negotiations under the Specific Claims Policy. This policy assists First Nations to address their grievances through negotiations with the Government of Canada as an alternative to litigation. Negotiations allow the parties to arrive at a mutually satisfactory settlement, while strengthening their relationship.
- What are the benefits of the settlement of this specific claim?
With the settlement of this claim, the Government of Canada and the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation will permanently settle their grievance. This process, based on cooperation, promotes stronger relationships between First Nations, the Government of Canada and third parties. Finally, compensation in this type of claim usually generates long term socio-economic benefits for both First Nations and neighbouring communities.
- What are the next steps in the process?
A ratification vote for the First Nation's eligible electors will be held. If the voters agree with the proposed settlement, the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation's Council will be authorized to sign the proposed agreement with the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.
- How was compensation calculated?
The compensation being offered to the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation is based on a loss of use study conducted by an independent consultant to assess the First Nation losses for the period from 1971 to today.
- Will land be included as part of the proposed settlement of this claim?
The claim lands are already reserve lands. The parcels of land included in this claim will eventually receive confirmation of reserve status, for greater certainty.
- Why does the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation need to hold a ratification vote?
As part of the specific claims process, the Government of Canada requires that the settlement agreement be ratified by the members through a ratification vote before Chief and Council may ratify the settlement agreement.
- How will the Members be informed about the content of the proposed settlement agreement prior to the ratification vote?
The Band Council will be mailing out information packages to all on and off-reserve members. This ratification package will include a brochure from the Band Council outlining the major sections of the proposed settlement. It will also include the date and place of the information meeting which will be held on-reserve and off reserve for interested members who will be able to have their questions and/or concerns addressed by Chief and Council or its legal counsel.
The ratification officer will also provide each member with a copy of the proposed settlement agreement.
- What is the ratification vote threshold? In other words, what needs to happen at the vote for this specific claim to be ratified by the members?
To be approved, the proposed settlement agreement requires a majority of those who vote, to vote in favor.
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