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Land Claim Negotiation

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10 Reasons To Join!

1) Recent Supreme Court cases have begun to support Aboriginal Claims to
the Land and further define the relationship between the Federal and
Provincial Governments and the Aboriginal Nations regarding Aboriginal
Rights and Title issues.

2) The Algonquins are currently undertaking a Comprehensive Lands' Claim
for 8.9 million acres of Land. The Algonquins have never sold, surrendered
or lost land in war. A successful settlement of this Claim would bring Economic
Development, access to Natural Resources, and Compensation to our Nation, as
well as recognition of our Political Structures, thereby increasing our level
of decision making throughout our territory.

3) 250 years of discrimination and assimilation has taken its toll on our Nation.
Many Algonquin's struggle to prove their Aboriginal ancestory.
Many records have been lost, or destroyed in fires.
As time passes information gets harder to find and Elders with pertinent
information pass on. Through the implementation of the Indian Act, back
in the 1850s, the Federal Government had developed a mechanism to identify
who would be considered Aboriginal in Canada. The Algonquins have developed
criteria to identify who is Algonquin and who is not, which goes beyond
Federal Indian Act Legislation.
Who better to identify Algonquins than Algonquins themselves?

4) It is an important time for the Algonquins to stand up and be counted.
Through our negotiations the Governments have said that any compensation
package would likely be on a per capita basis. Although the
Algonquins do not agree with this type of formula, it has been undertaken
in other Land Claims.

5) When negotiating a Lands' Claim it is important for the Aboriginal
Representatives to develop strategies which reflect the needs and
aspirations of the Algonquin People. It is very important to know what these
are before the negotiation process evolves too far. Prioritizing allows us to
build concrete positions and have time to seek remedies/alternatives to address
the more contentious Issues.

6) The Lands' Claim Negotiations process, in the event of a final
settlement, requires that Governments have certainty and finality. In trying
to achieve this, it is necessary to ensure that all involved and affected by
this Claim have the opportunity to be consulted and provide input. This
lessens the likelihood of successful Court challenges against the Claim,
providing an opportunity for all concerned to be heard and understood.
In doing this it is more likely to create a win-win situation for all parties
7) During negotiations, opportunities are present to enter into Interim
Agreements, which can provide opportunities for access to Natural Resources,
enter into Holding Agreements and negotiate Agreements which address issues
such as Federal Excess Lands, Hunting and Fishing and Lands Dispositions.

8) Participation now provides opportunities to hear what other Algonquins
in the Territory think on issue's related to the Claim, to understand their
positions and to foster a better working climate with the rest of the
community. This allows an opportunity to change the mindset of individuals.
What is best for the individual vs. what is best for the Community/Nation. It
also increases the likelihood of ratification by the Algonquins when the time comes
to vote on a final settlement, knowing they had opportunities to be
consulted and understand the Final Agreement.

9) It is important for communities to begin positioning themselves to
receive benefits in the event of a final settlement (i.e. establish
corporations, working groups, committees) and to begin the training
necessary to enable ourselves to assume the responsibilities which will
inevitably follow a successful resolution of the Claim. It is also very
important to develop our Representational Structures, so that Algonquins
will have a strong political voice, which will truly be accountable to its

10) It is generally recognized that Elders may not see direct benefits to
this Land Claim but it is still extremely important for them to attend
information sessions and other meetings to remind others of the history of
the Claim and the hardships faced by refusing to give up their Title and
Rights to the Land. We must recognize that we can insure the prosperity of
many future generations of Algonquins for many years to come.