MANITOULIN—Mayors and reeves from Manitoulin’s municipalities were to meet Tuesday of this week (yesterday) with officials from Ontario’s Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs (MAA) to learn more aspects of the implementation regulations relating to the 1990 land claim agreement on Manitoulin Island.
This land claim was negotiated by the United Chiefs and Councils of Mnidoo Mnissing (UCCMM), formerly the United Chiefs and Councils of Manitoulin, in 1990 but has yet to be brought to a final conclusion and UCCMM officials continue to negotiate points with the MAA.
It is against this backdrop that Manitoulin’s municipal leaders are meeting, as the UCCMM continues with its negotiations.
Sheguiandah First Nation Chief Orville Aguonie confirmed Monday that the governments of Ontario and Canada have “about 30 days” to respond to a land claim registered by agents of the UCCMM in late March that gave a 60 day response window.
The claim is rumoured to be for $200 billion and involves, among other features still at issue in the still unresolved 1990 land claim, the ownership of lake bottoms.
The meeting planned for this week and scheduled to be held at the Recreation Centre in Little Current was coordinated by Northeast Town Mayor Al MacNevin and all Manitoulin Island municipalities had agreed to participate in information sessions with the MAA.
This is the second such information meeting in April. The first one involved Doug Carr, assistant deputy minister with the MAA, federal negotiator Pam Simpson and provincial negotiator Richard Aniol as well as representatives from most Island municipalities.
Meanwhile, Wikwemikong’s land claim is also ongoing and may overlap, according to informed sources, with issues addressed by the UCCMM claim.