The Fort William First Nation and Canada have negotiated a settlement to conclude the First Nation's Neebing Specific Claim. Negotiations lead to “win-win” solutions that bring closure, benefits and certainty for all Canadians.
Overview of the Neebing Claim
This claim settlement resolves a historic grievance dating back to the late 1850s. The Neebing Specific Claim relates to the surrender of approximately 6,400 acres of the western portion of the Fort William First Nation reserve in 1859. The lands were surrendered with an understanding that the property would be surveyed and sold for the use and benefit of the First Nation. The basis of this claim was that when the lands did not sell, Canada should have asked if the First Nation wished to have the lands returned.
The claim was submitted in 2000 and negotiations began in 2007. Negotiators for Canada and the Fort William First Nation concluded talks on a settlement proposal for the Neebing Surrender Claim in 2010.
Key Elements of the Settlement
The settlement includes approximately $22 million in financial compensation. The settlement does not have a land component; this claim was for financial compensation only.
Research was done during the negotiations to help determine how much compensation would be fair to resolve the claim. The settlement value was ultimately the result of negotiation between the parties.
In return for this compensation, the First Nation provided Canada with a release that ensures this claim can never be re-opened. Settlements must bring closure for all concerned.
Steps to a Final Settlement
A number of steps needed to be completed before the claim could be settled. The negotiators for Canada and the First Nation had to complete the work to draft the legal text of a Settlement Agreement.
The settlement was approved by First Nation members in a vote on December 4, 2010 and by Canada on March 2, 2011. The settlement took effect as soon as it was signed by both parties.