Canada will pay 1.3 billion Canadian dollars (960 million euros) to an indigenous community in the west of the country in compensation for the theft of part of their land at the beginning of the 20th century, one of the most important territorial compensations never concluded. The announcement came this Thursday, June 2, 2022.
In 1910, the Canadian government had seized almost half of their land to sell it to settlers despite the signing of a treaty thirty years earlier. According to Justin Trudeau, Canada acted in an “undignified manner” with this expropriation, depriving the community of its “agriculturally productive and mineral-rich land”.
“While this settlement does not make up for the past, we hope it leads to a better and brighter future for this generation and those to come,” added Mark Miller, Minister of Indigenous Relations.
” Go forward “
“Our way of life has changed. It will never be like before, nothing can replace what was there,” said Ouray Crowfoot, Chief of the Siksika Nation, who wore a traditional feather headdress, adding that the community now wanted to “go before “. For him, however, his people are witnessing a revival of their culture, their traditions, but also of their Blackfoot language which is now used on local road signs, for example.
“We are a resilient people. We are not just surviving, we are moving towards an era of prosperity,” he added. This agreement concludes a request from the Siksika Nation that dates back to the 1960s. In November 2021, negotiators from both parties had reached an agreement, validated by a community vote last December.
Although Ottawa’s relationship with First Nations is defined by the “Indian Act”, an 1876 enactment, not all Indigenous land claims have been settled in Canada.