APTN National News
The Algonquins of Pikwakanagan voted against the Algonquins of Ontario modern day treaty, according to vote results released Thursday, while the other nine Algonquin entities that are part of the process voted to continue negotiating.
The Algonquins of Pikwakanagan voted 327 votes to 256 against the deal, according to the results, which were the total tally of two separate votes on the modern day treaty, also known as a comprehensive claim.
The other nine communities voted 3,182 in favour of the modern treaty, while 141 voted against it.
The vote was on the agreement-in-principle of the proposed Algonquins of Ontario (AOO) treaty.
The AOO claim covers about 3.6 million hectares stretching from Algonquin Park east to Hawkesbury, Ont., including Ottawa, and down into territory near Kingston, Ont. If finalized, the deal would see $300 million in capital funding and 47,550 hectares of Ontario Crown land transferred to the AOO.
There are a total of 10 communities that make up part of the AOO claim, but only Pikwakanagan is a recognized band under the Indian Act.
Serious concerns have arisen over the criteria used to accept individuals to be part of the modern treaty because the AOO uses genealogy to assess whether an individual qualifies as an Algonquin. Recent reports have shown many who were eligible to vote only had one Algonquin ancestor in their family tree going back over 300 years.
Pikwakanagan’s band council issued a statement saying the community would be stepping away from the negotiating table to address concerns from the community about the current AOO process.
“There have been a number of serious concerns raised and brought forth by members,” said the statement. “We have definitely heard the concerns and matters raised by members. Some members have requested that we take a step back and focus on those concerns….We are currently doing this. We have indicated to the AOO that we have to take a step back from the process so that council can focus on getting the member-specific issues addressed.”
Algonquin communiteis in Quebec along with Iroqouis communities have also expressed concern at AOO’s proposed modern treaty.