The Algonquin land claim
The largest land claim being negotiated in Ontario. If successful, it will be the province’s first modern-day constitutionally protected treaty.
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A Preliminary Draft Agreement-in-Principle is now available for public review. This is not a final product. It sets out the main elements of a potential settlement which is still a number of years away.
Negotiators have agreed that:
- no privately-owned property will be expropriated
- Algonquin Park will remain a public park
- no new reserves will be created on lands that are transferred
Anyone with legal interests related to the proposed land selections has been notified and offered an opportunity to meet with representatives of Ontario.
The geographic area
The Algonquin land claim covers a territory of 36,000 square kilometres in eastern Ontario that falls within the Ottawa and Mattawa River watersheds.
Land covered under the claim
The Algonquin land claim territory covers the Ontario portions of the Ottawa and Mattawa River watersheds. The boundaries are based largely on the watershed, which was historically used and occupied by the Algonquin people.
Proposed settlement area/boundaries
The proposed boundaries for the settlement area represent the land where Algonquin rights will be exercised, once a settlement is reached.
Less than 4% of the Crown land in this area is proposed for transfer to Algonquin ownership as part of the land claim settlement.
The Crown lands proposed for transfer lie in the area of the 10 Algonquin communities represented in negotiations, close to where their members live.
The proposed transfer of certain lands from government to the Algonquins would:
- restore historically significant sites to the Algonquins
- contribute to the social and cultural objectives of Algonquin communities
- provide a foundation for economic development
No new First Nation reserves would be created. After transfer, Algonquin lands would be subject to the same land planning and development approvals and authorities as other private lands.
Who is involved
The parties negotiating the claim are:
- the Government of Canada
- the Government of Ontario
- the Algonquins of Ontario
The Algonquins of Ontario
Approximately 10,000 people of Algonquin descent live in the land claim territory. They are represented by a collective called the Algonquins of Ontario in negotiations.
Elected individuals sit at the negotiating table as part of this collective, representing the following communities:
- the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation
- Greater Golden Lake
- Mattawa/North Bay
- Shabot Obaadjiwan
- Whitney and area
The government is negotiating a settlement on behalf of the people of Ontario to:
- achieve legal certainty regarding the rights of the Algonquins of Ontario with respect to lands and natural resources
- promote opportunities for economic, cultural and community development for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities affected by the claim
- improve relationships between the Crown and Aboriginal peoples and between Aboriginal communities and their neighbours
Ontario’s negotiating team for the Algonquin land claim includes representatives of:
- the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs
- the Ministry of Natural Resources
- the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and
- the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
The team includes the co-chairs of two advisory committees established by Ontario in 1996:
- Norm Lemke, Co-Chair, Ontario’s Municipal Advisory Committee
- Al Stewart, Co-Chair, Ontario’s Committee of External Advisors
Ontario’s Chief Negotiator: Brian Crane, an Ottawa lawyer who specializes in Aboriginal law.
The Algonquins formally submit a land claim to Canada and Ontario, asserting that the Crown never entered into a treaty with the Algonquins.
The governments of Canada and Ontario agree to enter negotiations with the Algonquins.
All parties agree to publicly release a Statement of Shared Objectives.
Municipal Advisory Committee and Committee of External Advisors established.
All parties reaffirm the shared objectives and the current phase of negotiations begins.
Negotiators release a Preliminary Draft Agreement-in-Principle for public review and comment. Seeking public input at this stage in negotiations is unprecedented.
Negotiators conduct public information sessions across eastern Ontario to discuss proposed content of the Preliminary Draft Agreement-In-Principle with the public.
Ratifying an agreement
After the draft has been reviewed:
- negotiators will initial an AIP
- the Algonquins will vote in favour or against ratifying the agreement
- if the vote is successful and the agreement is ratified, the governments of Ontario and Canada will seek approval to negotiate a final agreement
The final settlement
The final settlement is expected to include:
- the transfer of 117,500 acres of Crown lands to Algonquin ownership
- $300 million as settlement capital provided by Canada and Ontario
- defined Algonquin rights related to lands and natural resources
Other landowners in the area
Negotiators agreed early on that the rights of private property owners would be respected. This means that:
- land will not be taken from private owners
- no one will lose access to cottages or private property
- no one will lose access to navigable waterways
How to get involved
As a member of the public, your voice is important to us.
Send your comments and feedback to the negotiation teams:
Algonquins of Ontario
613-735-3759 or 1-855-735-3759 (toll free)
1-800-567-9604 (toll free) or 1-866-553-0554 (TTY toll free)
613-732-8081 or 1-855-690-7070 (toll free)
Publications on the claim
- Executive Summary, Chapter Summaries and Frequently Asked Questions
- Preliminary Draft Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement in Principle December 2012
- Map A – Algonquin Land Claim Settlement Boundary
- Map B – Proposed Algonquin Settlement Lands
- Map C – Frontenac County Proposed Algonquin Settlement Lands
- Map D – Hastings County Proposed Algonquin Settlement Lands
- Map E – Lanark County Proposed Algonquin Settlement Lands
- Map F – Lennox Addington County Proposed Algonquin Settlement Lands
- Map G – Renfrew County Proposed Algonquin Settlement Lands
- Map H – Nipissing District Proposed Algonquin Settlement Lands
- Map I – City of Ottawa Proposed Algonquin Settlement Lands
- Map J – Proposed Algonquin Interests in Crown Lands
- Map K – Algonquin Harvest Map for Moose Hunting in Algonquin Provincial Park
You can request the following publications about the land claim:
- Tripartite Statement of Shared Objectives
- Algonquin Hunt Management Plans
- 2009 Framework for Negotiations Agreement
- 2009 Consultation Process Interim Measures Agreement
- 2009 Land Selection Process Paper
- 2007 Algonquin Declaration Order Made Under the Environmental Assessment Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.E. 18
To request a copy of one of these publications, please contact:
Ontario Information Centre
Algonquin Land Claim
31 Riverside Drive
Pembroke, ON K8A 8R6
Phone: (613) 732-8081
Toll Free: 1-855-690-7070
Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday to Friday.