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In Brief: Ontario Court Weighs in on Treaty Rights and Land Back – First Peoples Law

June 29, 2023

What it’s about

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice held that lands promised to the Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation under Treaty 72 should be returned to the First Nation as unsurrendered reserve land.

What happened

In 1854, the Crown promised to reserve lands known as Chi-Gmiinh on the Bruce Peninsula for Saugeen under Treaty 72. Instead of doing so, the Crown excluded the area from Saugeen’s reserves and issued patents allowing private landowners to settle in the area.

Saugeen brought an action against Canada and Ontario seeking declarations that the Crown breached its Treaty promises and that Chi-Gmiinh was part of its reserves.

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