The Algonquins of Ontario will review their proposed land agreement in the wake of Thursday’s landmark Supreme Court decision, saying the country’s top court has strengthened their bargaining position.
The Algonquins have been negotiating for seven years with the provincial and federal governments over a vast swath of provincial territory. The provincial government signed a proposal in November, but the process stalled when the federal government did not follow suit, said Robert Potts, lead negotiator for the group.
“We have been waiting nine months for an answer from Canada as to what they want to do. Here we are, quite interestingly, with a decision that will probably change the perspective we have on this entire process.”
Like B.C.’s Tsilhqot’in First Nation in the Supreme Court case, the Algonquins of Ontario are described by the courts as semi-nomadic. Thursday’s decision makes it easier for First Nations to establish title over lands that were used seasonally for hunting, fishing and trapping. Previously, eligibility for land title…