Land claim ‘pits Cree vs Cree’ – Chief Hardisty Jr. – by Alan S. Hale (Timmins Daily Press – March 11, 2016)

MOOSONEE – To say the Moose Cree First Nation is displeased by a lawsuit launched by the Grand Council of the Crees in Ontario Superior Court last week may be putting it mildly.

The council representing First Nations on the James Bay coast in Quebec, have launched a lawsuit asserting Aboriginal rights and title over a section of land on the Ontario side of the border that Moose Cree Chief Norm Hardisty Jr. is adamant sits within his First Nation’s traditional territory.

All Aboriginal rights and title to the land specified in the Cree Council’s lawsuit belong exclusively to the Moose Cree said, Hardisty. The chief is calling for the council to immediately halt its lawsuit, which he said is not only profoundly disrespectful but will only serve to “pit Cree against Cree.”

“It’s the manner in which things came out,” Hardisty told The Daily Press when asked why the lawsuit would cause such conflict.

The Moose Cree were well aware of their Quebec neighbours’ competing claim of rights and title over the land in question and had asked for a chance to talk it out with them, but Hardisty says that request was ignored.

“In December, I asked for a dialogue between Moose Cree First Nation and the Grand Chief (of the Cree Council) Matthew Coon Come. What happened next, was that the press release (announcing the lawsuit) that just came out all of a sudden.

“It was very disrespectful to do it in that manner, totally disrespectful. Obviously, we are not very pleased about it.”

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