Supreme Court to hear Ontario case on treaty payments to Indigenous peoples

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OTTAWA – Canada’s high court docket says it’ll hear a authorized battle over Crown payments to Indigenous peoples who ceded a big swath of northern Ontario beneath two treaties in 1850.

The Ontario authorities sought to problem a ruling by the Court of Appeal for Ontario, which discovered the Crown had violated the phrases of its treaties with the Anishinaabe of the northern shores of Lakes Huron and Superior by capping its annual payments at $4 per particular person for greater than a century.

According to court docket paperwork, the annuity was raised to that quantity in 1875 and has not modified since.

In its ruling final yr, the Appeal Court stated that whereas each the federal and provincial governments acknowledge the annuity ought to be elevated indirectly, “no steps have been taken to do so.”

As a outcome, it discovered the Crown had violated the treaties’ promise to share the resource-based revenues from the territory.

It despatched the case again to the trial decide to decide how a lot money is owed to the First Nations concerned, and which authorities — provincial, federal or each — could be answerable for that compensation.

This report by The Canadian Press was first printed June 23, 2022.

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