The Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation are the latest party to apply as an intervenor in Six Nations’ long-standing land-rights case against the Crown.
The First Nation is applying to be a plaintiff in what could be the biggest land claim lawsuit settlement in Canadian history.
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.
MCFN now joins the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) in becoming the latest addition to the court case against the federal and provincial governments, which Six Nations of the Grand River Elected Council filed in 1995.
Lonny Bomberry, a former lawyer and director of Six Nations Lands and Resources, says the intervenors are applying out of pure “greed.”
MCFN did not respond to requests for comment by press time.
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, according to Bomberry, who said the province of Ontario is not equipped to defend its position in the case.
The intervenors are expected to present their case at a superior court in Toronto in April 2023, said Bomberry.
He said SNGR elected council will “vigorously” defend its position as the sole plaintiff in the land rights case, which seeks an accounting of lands the Crown granted to the “Mohawks and such others” as part of the Haldimand Proclamation of 1784, consisting of six miles on either side of the Grand River from its mouth to source.
Any amount awarded to Six Nations, he said, would be for the benefit of all the people in the community, not just elected council.
The HDI applied in September to be an intervenor (another plaintiff) in the case, 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.
Bomberry said the case is more of a monetary accounting case rather than a land claim case, as Six Nations seeks an accounting of monies associated with the sales and leases of its land without its consent.
MCFN is claiming it did not surrender any land within its treaty territories in certain parts of Ontario, which includes land within the Haldimand Deed area, said Bomberry.