In 1991 the Supreme Court ruled that, while the Temagami Indians no longer had title to the lands they claimed, the Crown had failed to comply with some of its obligations to the Indians. The obligations arose from arrangements the Crown made with the Temagami Indians by which the Indians adhered to the Robinson Huron treaty in exchange for treaty annuities (annual payments of money) and a reserve.
In order to fulfil its outstanding treaty obligations, the Government of Ontario entered into negotiations with the Temagami First Nation (TFN) and theTeme-Augama Anishnabai (TAA) in 2000. The TFN and TAA are together referred to as the Temagami Aboriginal community.
Ontario's main objective in the negotiations is to resolve the historic grievance of the Temagami Aboriginal community in a settlement that balances the interests of the Temagami Aboriginal community, area property owners and others who use the land.
Between October 1999 and March 2000, Ontario and the Temagami Aboriginal community developed a framework agreement to guide the settlement discussions. They signed the Framework Agreement in June 2000 and began the information gathering stage of the negotiation process.
Early in 2001 the federal government, represented by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, joined the negotiations. Canada is participating to address issues about the creation of a new Indian reserve for the Temagami First Nation.
Beginning in the fall of 2001, the negotiators for the parties began to develop settlement models for resolving the claim. They made public a settlement model that was the basis of extensive consultations.
In December 2002, Ontario, the Temagami Aboriginal community and Canada reached consensus about the elements that would form the basis of the claim settlement. These matters were fleshed out in the next year and a half as the parties consulted with key stakeholder groups.
In June 2004 the parties publicly released details of the proposed settlement agreement. Since the fall of 2004 the focus of the parties has moved to drafting the legal text of a FINAL settlement agreement.
Throughout the negotiation process, Ontario met regularly with representatives of the key non-Aboriginal groups potentially affected by the settlement of the claim. Three committees were created to provide Ontario with information and advice. The committees are:
Ontario and its negotiating partners also meet regularly with the Temagami Municipal Council. The Mayor of Temagami is a full member of Ontario's negotiating team.
Over the past four years there have been five Open Houses in the Municipality of Temagami and at Bear Island, as well as eight newsletters and two fact sheets which are posted on this website. In addition, Ontario has a toll free number: 1-888-456-3430.
The elements of the proposed settlement are:
The Province of Ontario and the Temagami Aboriginal community have agreed to ask Canada to establish an Indian Reserve composed of 330 square kilometres (127 square miles) of land, located within the 385 square kilometres (149 square miles) of land set aside for settlement purposes by the Ministry of Natural Resources in 1996. The Temagami Aboriginal community will identify an additional eight square kilometres (three square miles) of land for use by the community's traditional family groups.
The Province of Ontario and the Temagami Aboriginal community have agreed that the mainland portion of Management Area 39 around Lake Temagami will be preserved by creating a Waterway Class Provincial Park. Areas of high mineral potential, existing private lands and mining lands will not be included in the park. Instead, the existing uses that are being made of these lands will continue, and the Temagami Land Use Plan will apply to them. Private properties will remain subject to municipal zoning.
The Temagami Aboriginal community recognizes that existing land use plans will form the basis of future and continuing uses of Indian Reserve lands adjacent to Cross Lake.
A community site will be established on Indian Reserve lands, within a proposed community site planning area. The plan for the new community site will be developed in consultation with the Province of Ontario and the Municipality of Temagami, and will be completed before the lands are transferred to Canada to establish the reserve. Development standards on the reserve will be compatible with those of the municipality.
The Temagami Aboriginal community will develop site plans compatible with municipal development standards for Lake Temagami before shoreline development occurs on Indian Reserve lands at Austin Bay and Friday's Point.
Access permits, issued under the Indian Act, will accommodate the continuation of a variety of existing uses such as utilities, roads, tourism and recreation activities, and access across reserve land to private properties.
Please see Fact Sheet with Maps for further mapping details.
The parties have agreed that Ontario will pay $20 million in financial compensation to the Temagami Aboriginal community.
The parties have agreed to measures that are intended to promote economic development for the benefit of the Temagami Aboriginal community and other residents in the region. The settlement provides the Temagami Aboriginal community with a mix of land and money for economic development initiatives totalling approximately $4 million.
The land component consists of four lots on Lake Temagami islands, two lots on Rabbit Lake and one on Herridge Lake. The Temagami Aboriginal community will acquire Forestry Island and Islands 574 and 1011 on Lake Temagami, and a serviced lot in the Temagami municipal industrial park. The Temagami Aboriginal community will also acquire two local businesses on a willing buyer-willing seller basis.
These lands will be held as private property and will be subject to municipal zoning and development standards.
The Temagami Aboriginal community and Ontario will establish a coordinating committee to address land use and resource management issues across all of Daki Menan. It will be a forum for consultation and co-ordination among the parties and local municipalities.
|Fall 2004||Negotiations Conclude|
|Summer 2005||Ratification – Temagami Aboriginal Community|
|Fall 2005||Ratification – Ontario|
|Winter 2006||Ratification – Canada|
|Summer 2006||Signing Ceremony at Bear Island|
|2006 and beyond||Multi-year implementation process|
Once the settlement agreement is ratified by each of the parties, implementation will begin. It will take approximately 10 years or more to implement all of the terms of the agreement, including paying the financial compensation, transferring lands, creating the reserve and establishing the new waterway park.
An Implementation Committee, appointed by the parties to the claim settlement agreement, will be formed to co-ordinate, oversee and monitor the implementation of the terms of the settlement agreement.
The Waterway Class Provincial Park will be established under the Ministry of Natural Resources Park Planning and Management process. The park will include most of the mainland shoreline of Lake Temagami.
There will be a Site Planning process to guide the development of the mainland community site.
A Traditional Family Lands process, carried out under the Ministry of Natural Resources' established land disposition processes, will identify and transfer up to 14 parcels of Crown land, totalling eight square kilometres, to the Temagami Aboriginal community.
If the Temagami Aboriginal community chooses to harvest timber on Crown land before those lands becomes an Indian Reserve, they will do so using the established Ministry of Natural Resources' Forest Management Planning process.
A Temagami Aboriginal Community/Municipality of Temagami/Ontario
The parties are committed to ensuring that the public will continue to be informed about developments after ratification of the settlement agreement, including via regular public updates to provide information about the progress of implementation. The public will be invited to contact implementation representatives, including an implementation co-ordinator to be hired by the Ontario Native Affairs Secretariat, to discuss any questions or concerns related to the implementation process.
The Chief of the Temagami people approached representatives of the Federal Department of Indian Affairs to ask for a reserve and Treaty in order to protect his people from lumbering interests, which were encroaching on their traditional lands.
The Federal Government recognized the omission of the Temagami Indians from the Robinson-Huron Treaty of 1850 and commanded payment of annuities without obtaining any formal cession of rights to lands. The federal government also promised to survey a reserve.
A reserve of approximately 100 square miles was surveyed for the Temagami Indians around Austin Bay on Lake Temagami. The Temagami Indians participated in its selection. The size of the reserve surveyed was comparable to reserves received by bands that signed the Robinson-Huron Treaty. Canada subsequently petitioned Ontario to provide Crown land to create the reserve.
A reserve of one square mile was created on Bear Island.
As a way of asserting their claim to 4,000 square miles of land that they claimed as "n'Daki Menan", their traditional homeland, the Temagami Indians registered cautions against Crown land in their traditional land use area. The cautions effectively prevented development requiring registration of title, such as mining and Crown land sales.
The Supreme Court of Canada decided that the Temagami Indians no longer have Aboriginal title to the land they claimed. However, the Court ruled that the Crown has outstanding obligations to the Temagami Aboriginal community, stemming from a failure to provide an adequate reserve and a failure to make annuity payments.
Ontario and the Temagami Aboriginal community reached an agreement-in-principle to settle the claim. The Aboriginal community did not ratify the agreement.
The land cautions were lifted as a result of a court order.
149 square miles of land were set aside on the south and east sides of Lake Temagami to provide an envelope of land from which a future claim settlement could be considered.
The Temagami Aboriginal community asked Ontario to return to the negotiating table.
Please explore the Temagami website to learn more about this claim. It will be updated as required.
Doug McKenzie or Mike Molyneaux
Daki Menan Negotiation Office
Phone: (705) 237-8627
Ontario Native Affairs Secretariat
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada