Skip to main content

One First Nation seeks to amend $10B Robinson Huron Treaty settlement’s annuity distribution plan

Saturday was the final day of the annual Robinson Huron Treaty Celebration – which took place in Sault Ste. Marie this year.

A map of the locations of the 21 member First Nations of the Robinson Huron Treaty. (Image from Video/Courtesy of The Narwhal)173 years after the original signing of the treaty, its 21 nations gathered again.

While most communities await movement from the federal government on the $10 billion in annuities announced earlier this year, one First Nation has announced they are seeking to make changes at the 11th hour.

The final signing of the proposed annuity settlement to take place Sept. 9 officially became the eligibility date for each member to qualify for their share of the trust.

"Most of the work now is implementation,” said Greg Rickford, Ontario Minister of Indigenous Affairs.

“That is done exclusively by the trustees, in cooperation with the leadership of each community."

While that work is ongoing, the settlement will likely be approved and finalized by upper levels of government in court later this year – possibly by November.

"Anytime you have a settlement of this nature that impacts so many people the courts do intervene and make sure everything is ‘kosher,’” said Gary Anandasangaree, Federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations.

“We don't anticipate any issues there."

Garden River First Nation Leadership however recently shared that it is rejecting what it says is the "unequal and unfair distribution plan proposed by the Robinson Huron Trust."

"Some communities are smaller, Garden River is a little bit different because we're one of the bigger communities. If you were to do a distribution to membership, the bigger communities obviously wouldn't have as much to distribute to their members," said Garden River First Nation Chief, Andy Rickard.

"We do have some time just to hash out any challenges, and any issues that we might have."

The Garden River Chief told CTV News that he and his council also have concerns with the “half a billion dollars in lawyer fees and one billion for future court cases.”

The Robinson Huron Litigation Management Committee agreed there is still time to make changes.

“There is a threshold to amend agreements, amend provisions within the trust,” said Duke Peltier of the committee.

"It is a prerogative of the chiefs."

The committee’s leadership said that they expect the $10 billion to be transferred to the trust by February of next year.

Rickard said he is hopeful that the chiefs can come together to re-work the distribution amounts in the coming months and not delay the funds getting to community members. Top Stories

Stay Connected