Robinson-Huron Treaty Annuity case
SUDBURY – On October 15, the second phase of a lawsuit from First Nations under the Robinson Huron Treaty resumed in Sudbury.
It's looking into the annuities First Nations were supposed to be paid under the treaty.
A group of First Nation leaders say they were disappointed the province appealed the decision to increase annuities.
"Our approach has been to go to court but also maintain a level of discussions and potentially have a negotiated settlement outside of court so potentially a two-pronged approach," explained Ogimaa Duke Pelter, Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory.
The Justice ruled against the province's appeal only last week.
Ontario still has 30 days to decide if it wants to appeal her decision.
"They're not really showing us good faith from the start and it's really disappointing, and then federal candidates, their lack of, I would say even knowledge of this court case," said Nipissing First Nation Chief Scott McLeod.
The gallery was packed as interested stakeholders listened to testimony from a team of lawyers delving into a treaty that was drafted before Canadian confederation.
"Very disappointing as a matter of fact because this is very important to us. There are 21 nations in the Robinson Huron and we also have the Robinson Superior treaty as well. They're also in the courts with us, so it's very disappointing to not hear any discussions or even coming to us and saying how would you like to support us in regards to this treaty," expressed Chief Elaine Johnston, Serpent River First Nation.
The plaintiffs say they are hoping for a speedy resolution and one that would be an economic benefit to the entire region.
"When First Nations communities do well… the entire region does well. It's not like we put our money in mattresses and never spend it… the economic implications of such things go beyond reserve boundaries," said McLeod.
The Provincial Ministry of the Attorney General says because the case is before the courts, it would be inappropriate for them to comment.