Chacachas Treaty Nation and Canada set to advance reconciliation talks

by ahnationtalk on May 17, 202452 Views

From: Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

May 17, 2024

Today, the Chacachas Treaty Nation and the Government of Canada announced that Chacachas and Canada have taken a key step toward a renewed relationship by signing a Memorandum of Understanding for Advancing Reconciliation.

The co-developed Memorandum will help guide discussions between the parties as they move forward together to reconstitute Chacachas as a Treaty First Nation in a fair and just manner. This collaborative work will be based on the Federal Court’s 2020 decision in Watson-Bear, where they found that the Crown unlawfully combined the historic Chacachas Band with Ochapowace First Nation in 1884. The Court found that Chacachas is entitled to assert ongoing Treaty rights under Treaty 4 as a distinct Treaty First Nation with constitutionally protected rights.

While the Memorandum of Understanding announced today does not resolve the Watson-Bear litigation, it is part of the process of trying to find fair and just solutions outside of the courts that work for all parties.

The Memorandum sets out how facilitated discussions will take place between Chacachas and Canada and what topics will be covered as the parties work together to try to find common ground for moving into formal negotiations. Topics that will be explored under the Memorandum include for example: how to re-establish Chacachas as a Treaty First Nation in keeping with the Court’s decision, as well as self-government arrangements and co-operative measures to preserve and protect Chacachas’ culture, language and heritage.

The Memorandum is the result of ongoing discussions and is an example of how Canada is working with Indigenous partners to renew the relationship, support the work of nation rebuilding and promote a lasting and meaningful reconciliation.

Quotes

“Chacachas is a prime example of what can be achieved when Treaty signatories commit to work together for a common goal. We look forward to the challenges ahead – to implement the Treaty promises made nearly 150 years ago – and to rebuild our Nation for the betterment of this generation and those to follow.”

Okimawkan Charlie Bear
Chacachas Treaty Nation

“This co-developed Memorandum of Understanding marks a new beginning with Chacachas as we move forward as Treaty partners in our nation-to-nation relationship. It is my hope that this progress can serve as a symbol of our dedication to work together on shared solutions that advance Chacachas’ priorities for reconciliation and their vision for self-governance and a better future.”

The Honourable Gary Anandasangaree
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations

“Today’s agreement is an important step towards Chacachas Treaty Nation gaining back their right to self-governance. This collaborative work with partners will help lead the path towards reconciliation, and actively foster self-determination within the community.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Indigenous Services

Quick facts

  • The Watson-Bear litigation was first filed in 2000.
  • The parties first began talks to try to find solutions outside of the courts in 2022. The Memorandum sets out the process and priority topics for continued dialogue and collaboration.
  • The goal is to find the common ground needed to arrive at a mutually acceptable path forward and then ultimately begin formal negotiations.
  • The parties look forward to advancing this important collaborative work in the spirit of partnership and respect.

Contacts
For more information, media may contact:

Chacachas Office
306-853-8989
info@chacachas.com

Media Relations
Crown–Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
819-934-2302
RCAANC.media.CIRNAC@sac-isc.gc.ca

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada
819-953-1160
media@sac-isc.gc.ca

NT6

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