Le Lézard
Classified in: Business
Subjects: LIC, NTA, CFG

Specific claim settlement agreement reached between Gitanmaax Band and Government of Canada


GITANMAAX BAND, BC, July 28, 2023 /CNW/ - Today, Tracey Woods, Chief of the Gitanmaax Band, and the Honourable Gary Anandasangaree, Minister of Crown?Indigenous Relations, announced the settlement agreement regarding the Gitanmaax Band's Surrender of 36 acres of Indian Reserve No. 1 Specific Claim.

The specific claim concerns Gitanmaax's 1948 surrender of 36 acres of reserve land adjacent to the Village of Hazelton townsite. Canada failed to return the unsold surrendered parcels to reserve status upon the Gitanmaax Band's request in 1966. Canada also breached its fiduciary duties by failing to compensate the Gitanmaax Band for the use of their reserve land by non-band members, from the early 1900s to 1947. Through dialogue and negotiation, Canada and the Gitanmaax Band reached a settlement of $6.1 million in compensation.

The significant socio-economic gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada are the direct result of decades of colonial policies, which often led to the denial and dispossession of land. Ownership of land in Canada is closely linked to ownership of resources and economic benefit; for hundreds of years, settlers in Canada have benefited from the land to the detriment of Indigenous Peoples, who have suffered both culturally and economically.

Honouring Canada's moral and legal obligations and properly compensating Indigenous Peoples for what was unlawfully taken and withheld from them is fundamental to advancing reconciliation in Canada and rebuilding trust with Indigenous communities.

Quotes

"This settlement represents part of the Gitanmaax Band's ongoing process of correcting and mending some of what happened to us in the past so that we can continue to move forward into a bright future for the community as a whole, our children, and coming generations."

Tracey Woods
Chief of Gitanmaax Band

"The resolution of this claim signifies an important step in Canada's relationship with the people of Gitanmaax. For far too long, Canada has indebted Indigenous communities, including the Gitanmaax Band, by taking lands or not properly compensating communities for the use of those lands. Because of this, communities have been significantly set back economically ? as a country, it's our duty to acknowledge and address these historic wrongs and move forward together. I'd like to thank the Gitanmaax Band's leadership for their dedication to this settlement agreement, which will contribute to your community's wellbeing for generations to come.

The Honourable Gary Anandasangaree
Minister of Crown?Indigenous Relations

Quick facts
Associated links

Gitanmaax Band
Specific Claims

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SOURCE Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada


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