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Collective or individual? The key question behind distributing $10B Robinson Huron Treaty settlement – CBC

Apr 29, 2024

Money from past annuities to First Nations in northeastern Ontario to flow in coming months

The 21 Robinson Huron Treaty First Nations in northeastern Ontario will soon come into serious money as band councils prepare to distribute a $10-billion settlement for past annuities among themselves and their members.

It’s akin to winning a small lottery — if you take luck out of the equation and replace it with generations of ancestors who didn’t receive annual payments they were promised by the Crown in 1850 in exchange for the rights to use their lands.

A clause in the treaty tied the annual payments’ value to resource revenues. Mining, lumber and fishing industries generated billions of dollars in profits over two centuries, but annual payments to First Nations were capped at $4 per person in 1874 and haven’t increased since.

In 2018, the Superior Court of Justice ruled the province had an obligation to increase the annuities. Under the $10-billion settlement reached last year, the Ontario and Canadian governments will pay half each.

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