Comprehensive Land Claim Agreements

As stated in the Human Rights Policy (1995), Canada will require evidence that negotiated agreements have been ratified by the Aboriginal group. The ratification mechanism must also comply with the legal requirements for the transfer of assets. The concept of land and resource certainty is essential for contract negotiations that provide a respectful framework for reconciliation. A year later, in the summer of 1995, a dispute broke out in the Gustafsen Lake area of BC between a rancher and a small group of indigenous peoples (Secwepemc and others) and their supporters over the use and use of Ranchland for a sun dance ceremony. As protesters threatened to use firearms, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were called by the province. After several weeks of stalemate with gunfire from both sides, but without causing any injuries, the demonstrators negotiated the end of the conflict. Final agreements must be accompanied by implementation plans that define how the commitments contained in the agreements will be fulfilled. Implementation plans shall aim to ensure efficient and timely implementation of the various elements of the settlement agreements. Canada seeks certainty about unresolved Aboriginal claims to land, resources and other treaty rights by negotiating agreements that provide for the respectful compatibility of Aboriginal rights with the rights of other Canadians. The more fully the negotiators define the conditions for a new relationship based on the clearly defined rights and obligations of each party, the greater the security will be for future generations.

Upon receipt of a request, the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development will verify the submission and accompanying documents and advise the Minister of Justice on their acceptance on the basis of legal criteria. The Aboriginal group shall be informed within twelve months by the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development of the acceptance or rejection of the application. If a claim is refused, the reasons of the Aboriginal group shall be communicated in writing. In 1980, the federal government appointed the first chief negotiator from outside the public service to ensure greater neutrality and access to ministers. In 1982, the Canadian Constitution was amended to confirm Aboriginal rights, including those identified in claims regulations.