Robinson Huron Treaty annuity negotiations resume
Meetings to renegotiate a $4 per-person annuity first established in 1874
Negotiations have resumed between the Robinson Huron Treaty leadership, Ontario and Canada regarding treaty annuities.
The 21 First Nations that are part of the treaty have argued that a $4 per-person annuity established in 1874 needs to be renegotiated.
Mike Restoule, chair of the Robinson-Huron Treaty Litigation Fund, said he believes the upcoming election in Ontario has brought the province back to the negotiating table.
"The Ford government would like to obviously be re-elected as the government of Ontario," he said. "So that was one of the things that prompted their move towards negotiation and settlement of the case."
Restoule said the Robinson Huron Treaty leadership met with provincial and federal government representatives on April 13 and 14.
"They've made moves toward some semblance of a settlement," he said.
Restoule added the treaty leadership countered the federal government's proposal, and is now waiting for a response. He said Ontario has indicated it would follow Canada's lead in the negotiations.
"We are pleased to be in a place where we are talking about negotiating a resolution to our annuities case outside of the court. We have always known that reconciliation will not happen in the courtroom," said Batchewana First Nation Chief Dean Sayers in a press release.
While negotiations have resumed, Restoule said the Robinson Huron Treaty has not stopped its litigation against both levels of government.
Both the Ontario Superior Court and then the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld the litigation against the provincial and federal governments.
Ontario has said it would appeal the case to the Supreme Court of Canada.
With files from Jonathan Pinto