Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation (October 29, 2010) - The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, together with Chief Bryan LaForme and community members, celebrated today the final settlement of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation’s Brant Tract and Toronto Purchase specific claims.
Canada and the Mississaugas of the New Credit have taken a major step forward on a path of reconciliation and renewal today with the signing of a $145 million claim settlement. The financial settlement resolves an outstanding dispute tied to the history of Toronto, Canada’s largest city.
“The resolution of this claim will enable the Mississaugas of the New Credit to seek new economic development projects and other community developments projects that will benefit not only their members but the surrounding communities as well,” said Minister Duncan. “ This historic settlement helps to reconcile the past with the present and creates common ground for a shared future.”
“Our First Nation has a long history of seeking input and guidance from our members,” said Chief LaForme. “We conducted a series of meetings last spring and our members gave us clear direction on the settlement offer and the Trust Agreement. In our ratification referendum held on May 29th this year an overwhelming percentage of our members voted ‘yes’ to this settlement. The First Nation membership has charted our path and we will now move toward a brighter future for our people. A future filled with economic opportunity, growth, and prosperity.”
“This settlement confirms that our government remains committed to making real progress in resolving outstanding claims,” said Phil McColeman, Member of Parliament for Brant. “We have found a win-win solution that not only rights a past wrong but also creates new economic opportunities for the future.”
A breakthrough in claims talks was first announced on January 25, 2010, when Canada made an offer to settle the Brant Tract and the Toronto Purchase specific claims. First Nation members approved the settlement in a vote that took place on May 29, 2010, and Canada finalized the settlement on October 8, 2010.
The settlement resolves claims surrounding a 1797 land purchase in the Brant Tract and the Toronto Purchase of 1805. The basis of the two claims is that Canada did not provide the First Nation with adequate compensation for the land at the time of the purchase. This is a financial settlement, and does not have a land component. This settlement brings closure to these longstanding claims once and for all.
Claim settlements right past wrongs and honour legal obligations owed to First Nations. They also open up new investment and business opportunities for First Nations that can bring economic benefits to their members as well as surrounding communities.
The Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation is located adjacent to Hagersville near Hamilton, Ontario, and has approximately 1,842 members.
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