The Crown broke a promise to First Nations. It could now owe billions.

By Amanda Coletta
The Washington Post
January 18, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

ONTARIO — More than 170 years ago, before Canada confederated in 1867, Indigenous people in what’s now Northern Ontario signed treaties, ceding a vast territory north of Lake Superior and Lake Huron to the Crown in exchange for a promise that the wealth flowing from the land would be shared with them. Instead, their descendants argue, the Crown has long broken the promises, turning a profit from the minerals and the trees, while they’re shackled by poverty. …Now, that broken promise is at the center of a legal fight that’s being closely watched… because it could dictate how resource revenue is shared with Indigenous people in the future. The case turns in part on a clause that’s found in no other treaty in Canada. …In November, Ontario admitted that it had broken its promise. But in an appeal of lower court rulings, the province argued before the high court that it’s not for a judge to order financial redress.

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