Negotiation Progress Report -  Haudenosaunee Six Nations - Claims and Negotiations

The Government of Canada has been working with Haudenosaunee Six Nations (HSN) and the Province of Ontario to find lasting and common solutions to these complex issues. The commitment of all parties is demonstrated by the work accomplished at the 45 main table meetings and more than 200 side table meetings that have been held since discussions began in April 2006.

Discussions with HSN deal with complex issues which stem from historical events dating back to the 18th century. These issues cannot be resolved overnight. The parties must work through challenging issues to find lasting and common solutions.

The process of reconciling relationships and building trust takes time and requires open communications among all parties.

The Best Way Forward – Negotiation Update

On May 30, 2007, Canada made an offer of $125 million with respect to four outstanding Six Nation claims: Grand River Navigation Company investment; Block 5 (Moulton Township); Welland Canal flooding and the Burtch Tract. The offer has since been rejected by the HSN.

In an effort to bring momentum to the negotiations and to attempt to address an important claim to the HSN, on December 12, 2007, Canada made an offer of $26 million relating to the flooding of Six Nations lands for the purpose of building the Welland Canal in 1829 and 1830. In developing this offer, Canada carefully considered the history behind the claim and relevant law.   On August 29, 2008, Canada received the HSN's counteroffer of $500 million.

After thorough consideration of the HSN's positions, Canada officially responded to the counter offer on January 28, 2009 at a meeting of the Lands Side Table.  Negotiators for Canada informed the HSN that they had hoped that the HSN response to Canada's offer would have been more favourable, and that Canada was disappointed that the parties had not been able to find more common ground on the Welland Canal Flooding Claim. In addition, it was relayed that Canada continues to believe that the original offer of $26 million to settle this claim is fair.

At this same meeting, all parties – HSN, Canada and the Province of Ontario –also committed to meet again on February 25, 2009 to discuss matters further. 

Canada is committed to negotiating a resolution of these complex issues.  It was hoped that real progress on the Welland Canal Flooding Claim would help to develop a closer working relationship amongst HSN, Ontario and Canada. Canada continues to aspire to the reconciliation of these important and complex issues.  It is believed that the parties must refocus on finding common ground, as Canadians and members of Six Nations expect us to do.

February 2009