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Tsawwassen First Nation and Canada reach land claim settlement agreement

Press Release

From: Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

April 25, 2022 — Tsawwassen First Nation, British Columbia — Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Honouring Canada’s legal obligations to First Nations and working collaboratively to renew relationships are fundamental to addressing historical wrongs and advancing reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples in Canada.

Today, Chief Ken Baird and the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, announced that the Tsawwassen First Nation and the Government of Canada have concluded negotiations and reached a settlement agreement of the English Bluff Specific Claim. As part of the settlement, the Tsawwassen First Nation will receive $7.7 million in total compensation.

Submitted by Tsawwassen First Nation in July of 2013, this specific claim concerns a breach of Canada’s obligations when it failed to obtain full and fair compensation for the sale of reserve lands in the 1950s and for Canada’s failure to protect the First Nation from entering into an exploitative agreement.

This agreement between Tsawwassen First Nation and Canada represents a mutual understanding and addresses a historical wrong to the community. The successful resolution of this settlement is a key part of Canada’s commitment to reconciliation – one that shows our commitment to build trust, acknowledges and respects the Treaty relationship, and helps build a better future for all Canadians.

Quotes

“We at Tsawwassen First Nation are pleased to bring closure to this long-standing issue. Addressing the historical harms done to our people is key to reconciliation and we hold our hands up to all the leaders and staff who worked over the years to settle this claim.”

Chief swənnəset Ken Baird
Tsawwassen First Nation

“Today’s announcement is an important milestone in Canada’s relationship with Tsawwassen First Nation. This negotiated settlement was made possible through the efforts of the community’s leadership and their commitment to work with Canada to address its failure to protect the First Nation’s interests. We are looking forward to building on our continued partnership and the future of our nation-to-nation relationship.”

The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

“Congratulations to Chief Baird and all of Tsawwassen First Nation on this historic settlement. Thank you for working with Canada to right this historic wrong, and for your commitment to our nation-to-nation relationship. This is one step on our shared journey of reconciliation, but a very important one.”

The Honourable Carla Qualthrough
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

Quick facts

  • The Tsawwassen First Nation, a Coast Salish Nation, is located in the Greater Vancouver area of the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, adjacent to the South Arm of the Fraser River.
  • After a ratification vote, Tsawwassen First Nation signed the English Bluff Specific Claim settlement on November 9, 2021, and Canada signed on January 18, 2022.
  • Canada has a longstanding policy and process in place to resolve these claims by negotiating settlements with First Nations. Since January 1, 2016, we have settled more than 183 specific claims with First Nation partners, totaling $8.9 billion in compensation.
  • In fiscal year 2020-2021, 56 claims were filed, 46 claims were assessed and 36 claims were resolved through negotiations.
  • Working in partnership with First Nations, Canada has settled over 592 specific claims through negotiated settlements since 1973.

Associated links

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Justine Leblanc
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations
[email protected]

CIRNAC Media Relations:
[email protected]
Phone: 819-934-2302

IBF5

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