Fact Sheet - The Culbertson Tract Specific Claim

The Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte's (MBQ's) Culbertson Tract claim relates to a land transaction that took place about 170 years ago. The MBQ's claim alleges that approximately 827 acres of land was improperly taken from the First Nation in 1837.

Canada has a longstanding policy and process in place for resolving such historical grievances through negotiated settlements. Negotiations with the MBQ' have been taking place under this policy - the Specific Claims Policy - since 2004.

The same parameters that are in place for negotiating settlements elsewhere in Canada will apply to any settlement of the MBQ''s claim. Canada does not expropriate or buy land to settle specific claims.

In the case of a land-related claim like this one, a negotiated settlement would provide the First Nation with financial compensation for past damages. If it chooses to do so, any First Nation in Canada may use its monies, including any money from a claim settlement, to buy land on the open market.

A First Nation may ask Canada to give reserve status to land that it has purchased. The lands do not automatically become part of the reserve, but must first meet the criteria of Canada's Additions-to-Reserves Policy. This means that the First Nation must consult with neighbouring municipalities and the province before any land can be given reserve status.

Canada is committed to ensuring that any negotiated settlement is fair to all parties and balances the interests of all concerned. A future settlement must resolve the claim once and for all, bringing finality and certainty to local area residents, businesses and the First Nation.

Canada is working to settle land claims across the country in a fair and consistent manner - fair to First Nations and non-Aboriginal people alike. As of March 31, 2008, about 300 specific claims have been resolved through negotiations and there are currently 131 specific claims in negotiation.

July 2008