Done deal: $10-billion Robinson Huron Treaty settlement finalized – by James Hopkin (Soo Today – January 23, 2024)

Historic agreement officially signed by all parties; it is anticipated that funds from settlement with Canada, Ontario will begin to flow into First Nations as early as this spring

The $10-billion settlement agreement for Robinson Huron Treaty annuitants has now been signed by all parties — officially making the historic compensation package for 21 First Nations in northeastern Ontario a done deal. Chiefs and trustees signed off on the agreement during a Jan. 3 meeting, according to an update from the Robinson Huron Treaty Litigation Fund made Tuesday.

First announced in June 2023, the multi-billion dollar settlement provides past compensation to treaty beneficiaries after not seeing an increase to annuity payments for a period of nearly 150 years, as wealth generated in the territory through resource revenues from the mining, forestry and fishing sectors continued to grow.

Annual treaty payments to Anishinaabe beneficiaries have remained capped at $4 per person since 1875. In 2018, the Superior Court of Justice ruled the Crown had an obligation under the 1850 treaty to increase annuities as wealth generated from the land grew over time, so long as the Crown can do so without incurring a loss.

Ontario has since taken its appeal of both the Stage 1 and Stage 2 decisions in the annuities claim to the Supreme Court of Canada, after the Ontario Court of Appeal previously upheld the decisions in 2021.

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