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Canada Settles Historic Land Claims Case With The Muskeg Lake Cree Nation

“Over 100 years have passed since this wrong took place and before the community received recognition, acknowledgement, and replacement resources for the lands taken.”

A settlement has been reached between Muskeg Lake Cree Nation and the Government of Canada covering the 1919 Soldier Settlement Board Surrender specific claim today, announced by Chief Kelly Wolfe and Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations.

Taking this step represents an important step in reestablishing Canada’s relationship with Muskeg Lake Cree Nation and making amends for the community’s wrongdoings. Despite being wronged over 100 years ago, the community has yet to receive recognition, acknowledgment, and replacement resources.

In 2014, the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation filed a claim against the government of Canada for breaching pre-surrender and post-surrender obligations to First Nations to them surrendering close to nine thousand acres of land during the first world war.

After the statement of claims was filed and examined, the government of Canada decided it was in the best interest of all parties to settle the case. Muskeg Lake Cree Nation was awarded $127.90 million in compensation with an option to acquire the roughly nine thousand acres initially taken from the community.

“Our Nation is one that thrives and while the initial decision of Canada to expropriate lands created hardship for our community we survived. We view this settlement as an investment in our future – our future children and lands to ensure our continued success as a Nation. We continue to build our relationship with Canada in a respectful way for our members and Nation.” Chief Kelly Wolfe Muskeg Lake Cree Nation

“We are taking an important step to renew and strengthen our relationship with Muskeg Lake Cree Nation. This settlement helps address a past wrong and creates new opportunities for a brighter future as we continue to move forward together.” The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

In the spirit of reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous peoples, returning land to its rightful owner and providing a public apology is a positive step in the right direction.

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