OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 03/07/13 -- The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, today announced another concrete step taken by the Harper Government to improve and accelerate the resolution of First Nation specific claims.
The Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development now has increased authority to approve financial settlements, allowing Canada to conclude specific claims in a fair and timely way.
"This improvement will help to accelerate progress at many negotiating tables, which will allow First Nations to benefit sooner from the certainty and economic opportunity that settlements bring," said Minister Valcourt. "Our Government will continue to deliver on its promise to work with First Nations to reduce red tape and streamline our approval processes so that we can reach quick and just resolutions to specific claims."
In keeping with its Specific Claims Policy, Canada will continue to negotiate with First Nations to resolve all specific claims. This additional improvement to the claim resolution process builds on the positive results achieved to date under Canada's 2007 Specific Claims Action Plan, which responds to calls from First Nations for a better, more streamlined process. This historic initiative is delivering real results, including the creation in October 2008 of an independent Specific Claims Tribunal through legislation developed jointly with the Assembly of First Nations.
In the past, claims dragged on for many years, but in response to concerns raised by First Nations about the length of time required to bring claims to resolution, the Government of Canada's reforms have led to real progress. As outlined in a recent online progress report, the Government of Canada has cleared up a backlog of 541 claims at the assessment stage, doubling the number of claims in negotiations across the country. Since 2007, Canada has settled 84 specific claims through negotiated agreements.
The Government of Canada is committed to working with First Nation partners across the country to achieve fair and timely results at negotiating tables for the benefit of all Canadians. Negotiating claim agreements is key to achieving reconciliation and rebuilding relationships with First Nation people in Canada.
Specific claims settlements honour Canada's lawful obligations to First Nations and bring economic benefits to First Nations and local communities as well as certainty for government, industry and all Canadians.
The Government of Canada remains focused on four priorities, as outlined by the Prime Minister, that Canadians care most about: their families, the safety of our streets and communities, their pride in being a citizen of this country, and their personal financial security.
You may also be interested in:
-- Land Claims in Canada-- Specific Claims-- Historic Treaties-- Specific Claims Policy-- Specific Claims Action Plan-- Progress on specific claims-- Frequently Asked Questions about Specific Claims
-- Success Story Videos on settled claims
-- Map of Historic Treaties (external link to NRCAN map)-- Interactive Map on Specific Claim Settlements
-- Specific claim settlement report-- Status of individual claims
This release is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca.
You can receive all our news and media updates automatically. For more information or to sign up for our Media Room RSS Feed, visit: www.aandc-aadnc.gc.ca/1info/rssinfo-eng.asp.
Office of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada