Negotiating parties close to resolving issues in 1990 land claim agreement

MINDEMOYA—Negotiating parties in the 1990 Manitoulin Island land claim agreement are close to resolving the issues identified that prevented it from its final implementation in 2009.

“Our government is committed to full implementation of the 1990 Manitoulin land claim settlement agreement,” said Flavia Mussio, senior media relations and issues coordinator with the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs this week. She explained, “the parties are close to resolving the issues identified in September 2009 as preventing the final implementation of the 1990 agreement. Additional issues raised through negotiations required internal deliberations by the parties.”

“We remain committed to a negotiated resolution,” said Ms. Mussio. “The ongoing negotiation addresses complicated matters that take time and require discussion between the many parties that are involved.”

“The parties are now drafting the amendments to the 1990 agreement to reflect the negotiated resolution of outstanding issues,” continued Ms. Mussio. She explained, “the 1990 agreement and the amended agreement are between the five First Nations, Ontario and Canada. Ontario’s negotiation team, as well as federal and United Chiefs and Councils of Mnidoo Mnising officials, have met with municipal leaders and officials on multiple occasions from the start of the negotiations in October 2009.”

“In an effort to provide the municipalities with further opportunities to meaningfully participate while maintaining the confidentiality nature of the negotiations, our government has proposed and continues to encourage the creation of a municipal advisory committee to identify issues and provide advice to the negotiating team,” said Ms. Mussio. As for the process for implementation of the agreement, she added, “when drafting is nearly complete, the parties will prepare an implementation plan that identifies what activities need to happen to implement the agreement.”

Tom Sasvari