The Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario and the Algonquins of Ontario have moved forward in their journey toward reconciliation and renewed relationships today by signing a historic Agreement-in-Principle (AIP) – a key step toward a modern-day treaty to resolve a longstanding land claim that covers an area of 36,000 square kilometres in eastern Ontario.
“This major step toward Ontario’s first modern treaty shows what’s possible when strong partners work together in the spirit of reconciliation,” said David Zimmer, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. “More than a million people share this land with the Algonquins of Ontario, and a modern treaty will clear a path for neighbours to become partners, bringing new economic opportunities to their communities.”
The non-binding AIP paves the way for continued negotiations toward a final agreement that will define the ongoing rights of the Algonquins of Ontario to lands and natural resources within the settlement area.
“The signing of the Agreement-in-Principle is a momentous milestone and a significant step forward on renewing Canada’s relationship with the Algonquins of Ontario,” said Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs. “We are working together to resolve one of the largest land claims in the country. Achieved in a spirit of co-operation and partnership, this landmark AIP brings us closer to the first modern-day treaty in Ontario and our shared goal to find a balanced solution that advances reconciliation for the benefit of all Canadians.”
The goal is to provide clarity going forward for all who live and work in the claim territory, balance the rights and interests of all concerned and create new economic opportunities for the benefit of the Algonquins of Ontario and their neighbours.
Principal Negotiator and Senior Legal Counsel, Algonquins of Ontario Robert J. Potts said, “The signing of the Agreement-in-Principle today marks a critical step forward in a journey that began almost 250 years ago when the first Algonquin Petition was submitted to the Crown in 1772. As we move forward into the next phase of our negotiations, the Algonquins of Ontario look forward to working in cooperation with the Governments of Canada and Ontario to improve upon what we have achieved to date and build a strong and equitable modern-day treaty. We believe that together we can work towards reconciliation and securing the long delayed justice that the Algonquin people deserve.”