Indigenous leaders urge province to negotiate annuities case – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – April 13, 2021)

Ford government appeals 1850 Robinson-Huron treaty ruling made in Sudbury

The provincial government should negotiate, not litigate, the annual annuity that is to be paid as part of the 1850 Robinson-Huron treaty, Indigenous leaders in northeastern Ontario say.

“How many rulings does it take?” Dean Sayers, chief of the Batchewana First Nation, near Sault Ste. Marie, told a virtual press conference Monday. “We have the first stage (ruling). We have the second stage (ruling). There will be another ruling with this appeal … It’s a tactic. A delay tactic.

“Get to the (bargaining) table,” said Sayers, also a member of the Robinson-Huron litigation management committee. “I hope there won’t be a stage three appeal. The writing is on the wall.

It’s based on fact. It’s based on truth … You (Ontario) have an obligation to your people. They want to see resolution.” The Ontario Court of Appeal hearing starts in Toronto on Tuesday.

After more than two years of hearings, Superior Court Justice Patricia Hennessy of Sudbury ruled the annuities paid to 21 First Nations that make up the Robinson-Huron treaty should have been increased more than it has since the deal was signed in 1850.

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