An Ontario First Nation is reeling after learning the Ford government is appealing the Robinson Huron annuities claim – including costs.
The federal government has said it will not appeal the December 2018 decision.
“The provincial government has a fiduciary obligation to honour our treaties and Ontario’s decision to appeal the ruling is unacceptable,” Batchewana Chief Dean Sayers said in a release.
“For decades, our people have received the vastly inadequate annual amount that is nowhere near the value of our shared resources of this land.”
An Ontario Superior Court judge sided with 21 First Nations late last year when she said annual $4 treaty payments should be raised.
Justice Patricia Hennessy found the provincial and federal governments had been short-changing First Nations in Ontario for more than a century.
But she did not set a new amount under the Robinson-Huron Treaty, which was signed in 1850.
Now comes word Ontario has filed notice seeking leave to appeal the decision.
Although Sayers believes the judge’s decision will hold and Ontario will come to the table and negotiate instead of litigate.
“Batchewana is disappointed in the province’s decision, however, we are confident that Ontario and Canada will follow through on their inherited obligation through a mediated process,” he said in the release.
The treaty payments are a share of natural resource revenues within the territory.
There are about 30,000 beneficiaries in the 21 communities.