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Woodstock, N.B. (April 22, 2008) – The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and non-Status Indians, and Jeffrey Donald Tomah, Chief of the Woodstock First Nation, today signed the Indian Reserve No. 23 Specific Claim Final Agreement.“The benefits of resolving this claim will enable the Woodstock First Nation to seek new economic development projects that will benefit not only its members but the surrounding communities as well,” said Minister Strahl. “It also provides more certainty for government, industry and all Canadians.”
The agreement resolves several of the Woodstock First Nation’s grievances concerning 5.5 acres of unsurrendered land from the Woodstock First Nation; the removal of land without compensation for railway purposes; and the flooding of approximately 2.5 acres of land following the construction of the Mactaquac Dam.
“Key to the settlement of this specific claim was the opportunity to pursue economic development opportunities that will provide long term benefits to our community,” said Chief Tomah. “Compensation and the commitment that lands chosen by us will be added to our reserve lands will allow this to happen.”
Under this agreement, the Government of Canada will provide approximately $2.5 million in compensation to the First Nation, including negotiation and ratification costs. The Woodstock First Nation will also be eligible to purchase up to 10 acres of replacement lands for addition to its reserve, subject to terms and conditions of the federal Additions to Reserves Policy.
These replacement lands would be purchased by the Woodstock First Nation on a willing-seller/willing-buyer basis and only within areas that have been negotiated by the parties.
The Woodstock First Nation is located 5 km from the city of Woodstock, in the western part of New Brunswick. During a February 12, 2008 ratification vote, 80 per cent of the eligible members of the Woodstock First Nation who cast their vote, voted in favour of the agreement
For further information please contact:
Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Woodstock First Nation
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