OTTAWA — The government hopes to sign a memorandum of understanding in the new year to settle a Quebec Algonquin First Nation's lawsuit claiming the land under Parliament Hill, HuffPost Canada has learned.
The claim surrounds a stretch of land along the Ontario side of the Ottawa River known as the Kichi Sibi Lands.
Kitigan Zibi Chief Jean-Guy Whiteduck filed the lawsuit in 2016, claiming the federal and Ontario governments developed the land taken without Indigenous consent, and also economically benefited from it.
"You know, people don't like it that the Parliament buildings are on stolen land. Like, what other word can you call it? It's been stolen," explained Algonquin elder Albert Dumont in an interview. "Nobody ever gave it up."
The band is seeking title recognition on behalf of the Algonquin Anishinaabe Nation over the land. It also wants financial restitution and acknowledgement from governments for "unjustified infringement" that has taken place.
In this episode of HuffPost Canada's politics podcast "Follow-Up," Algonquin elder Albert Dumont outlines the issue. Host Althia Raj brings his concerns to Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett to talk about how land claims are testing the Liberals' promise to build a nation-to-nation relationship.
Listen to the full episode here:
Detailed show notes:
- (4:25) Touring through the Kichi Sibi lands
- (10:02) Developer flags "significant lack of clarity" in how the private sector should engage with First Nations
- (11:29) Dumont explains how he's "duty bound" to the land
- (20:16) Althia asks Carolyn Bennett if the Liberals promised too much
- (28:16) Elder William Commanda's vision
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story said Kirby Whiteduck was the chief of Kitigan Zibi. He is actually the chief of the Pikwakanagan First Nation. Kitigan Zibi's chief is Jean-Guy Whiteduck.
Previously on HuffPost:
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