Fact Sheet - Long Plain First Nation’s “Loss of Use” Claim

The Government of Canada and the Long Plain First Nation are working together to resolve an outstanding specific claim through negotiations. The goal is to find a common solution to resolve the claim in a way that is fair to all parties. Negotiations lead to “win-win” solutions that bring closure, benefits and certainty for all Canadians.

Overview of the “Loss of Use” claim
The basis of the “Loss of Use” claim is that the First Nation is owed compensation for lost opportunity to use land promised under Treaty 1, which was signed in 1871.  The claim has a unique history as it is connected to an earlier settlement concluded with the First Nation in 1994.  While the 1994 settlement resolved the First Nation’s Treaty Land Entitlement claim, it also set out a process that the First Nation could follow to pursue a separate “loss of use” claim.

The goal of the current claim negotiations is to resolve this outstanding issue by providing the First Nation with compensation for the “loss of use” or lost opportunity to use the claim lands over time.

Negotiation Milestones
Canada accepted the First Nation’s “Loss of Use” claim for negotiation under its Specific Claims Policy.  Negotiations to conclude a settlement began in November of 2005. Canada and the Long Plain First Nation have recently reached a major milestone in talks to resolve this outstanding specific claim. Canada has tabled a settlement offer and the First Nation has agreed to take this offer to its members for a vote that will take place on April 19, 2011. This is an important step in the process, which brings the parties closer to achieving final resolution.

Settlement Offer
The proposed settlement includes financial compensation to resolve the claim. This is a claim for financial compensation only. The settlement does not have a land component.

Under the proposed settlement, Canada will provide the First Nation with approximately $21.3 million to resolve the claim. Research was done during the negotiations to assist in assessing how much compensation would be fair to resolve the claim. Ultimately, the proposed settlement is the result of negotiations between the parties. 

In return for this compensation, the First Nation will provide Canada with a release of its claim to ensure the claim can never be re-opened.

Next Steps in the Process
A number of steps need to be completed before the claim can be settled. The negotiators have completed their work to draft the legal text of a Settlement Agreement. The First Nation has also completed its work on a proposed Trust Agreement. The Trust Agreement sets out how the First Nation will use and manage its settlement dollars for the future benefit of its members.

First Nation members will have the opportunity to vote on the proposed Settlement Agreement and Trust Agreement on April 19, 2011. At this time, First Nation members will say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the proposed settlement. If a favourable vote is achieved, the Settlement Agreement must also be approved by Canada before it can be finalized.

The Long Plain First Nation is located approximately 20 kilometres from Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, and has approximately 3,800 members.

March 2011