Three separate groups hoping to intervene in Six Nations’ mammoth land claim case against the Crown will have their cases heard at superior court in Toronto.
The Six Nations Men’s Fire, the Haudenosaunee Development Institute and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation will go before a judge beginning May 12 at the University Avenue Courthouse with Six Nations elected council hoping to provide a livestream of the intervention hearings at a local spot in the community.
That location has not yet been announced.
The three groups have claimed an interest in the case, which concerns over 950,000 acres of land along the Grand River known as the Haldimand Tract, which Six Nations says was wrongfully ceded from them.
Six Nations initiated the lawsuit against the federal government in 1995, saying that after 1784, the British Crown, along with federal and provincial governments, failed to set aside the lands for the enjoyment of the Mohawks and such others and improperly sold most of the lands to settlers, while mismanaging the proceeds of the sales.
Today, the Six Nations of the Grand River people are living on less than five per cent of the original 950,000-acre land grant.
The Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) was the first to file as an intervenor in the land claims case, saying it was the rightful steward and treaty holder over the lands in question.
Next came the Six Nations Men’s Fire and then, the neighbouring Mississuagas of the Credit First Nation.
That First Nation is applying to be a plaintiff in what could be the biggest land claim lawsuit settlement in Canadian history saying the parts of the Haldimand Deed territory cover MCFN’s traditional territory, as well.
The suit seeks answers to what happened to Six Nations land along the Grand River and any monies or proceeds the government obtained from those land transactions.
The massive land rights case could be the biggest land claim settlement in Canadian history, with some estimates putting the dollar amount in the trillions, and is expected to be heard sometime in 2024. The case was supposed to be heard in September 2022, and was pushed to 2023, and will now be heard in 2024.
The HDI applied in September to be an intervenor in the case on behalf of the HCCC, citing the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council (HCCC) as the true governing body of Six Nations and all Haudenosaunee people in both Canada and the United States.
The court will hold a hearing of intervention motions on May 8 for four days.
The HDI and Men’s Fire motions will be heard together on May 8, 9 and 10, while the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation’s motion shall be heard on May 12.