Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald Congratulates Missanabie Cree First Nation for Securing Long Overdue Land BaseJuly 4, 2018 9:05 am
(Toronto, July 4, 2018) “On behalf of the 133 Chiefs in Ontario, I sincerely congratulate the Missanabie Cree First Nation, and Chief Jason Gauthier and Council, for finally receiving reserve status from the federal government. Most importantly, the Missanabie Cree are finally securing a land base in which to support their peoples – socially, culturally, and economically,” said Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald. “For our Peoples, the land is everything. The connection to the land is spiritual.”
When Treaty 9 was signed in 1906, the Missanabie Cree – located in the Algoma District near Chapleau — were left out of the process. At the time, the Crown had promised to set aside 128 acres per person. Now, 112 years later, the Crown has granted 3,892,282 hectares of land, which includes rights to resources.
“I think that it is bittersweet in a lot of ways,” said Chief Jason Gauthier. “There have been a lot of people who have passed on waiting in the last 112 years, including parents, grandparents who will never see us return to the traditional territory. It has made our people very emotional, but they are happy. It is long overdue, but I know our community members and leaders are very happy that we have been granted this reserve.”
Chief Gauthier said that next steps include designating different areas of the reserve through a planning study for residential, commercial, and agricultural needs in order to service the community.
“First Nations, and all Canadians, must never lose sight of the fact that our Peoples signed Treaties to share the lands and resources as equals,” stated Regional Chief Archibald. “We were never meant to live on tiny reserves with limited or no economic base. While this land designation is a huge win for the Missanabie Cree, there are still many victories to come before all our Peoples, and all Ontarians, will be able to prosper as equals.”
Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald
The Chiefs of Ontario is a political forum and a secretariat for collective decision making, action, and advocacy for the 133 First Nation communities located within the boundaries of the province of Ontario, Canada. Follow Chiefs of Ontario on Facebook or Twitter @ChiefsOfOntario.
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