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Matachewan First Nation Celebrates Historic Treaty Land Settlement

Matachewan – After years of negotiation and perseverance, the Matachewan First Nation has achieved a monumental victory in its quest for justice and reconciliation. Today, Chief Alex ‘Sonny’ Batisse, accompanied by dignitaries from both the provincial and federal governments, proudly announced the settlement of a long-standing treaty land entitlement (TLE) claim under Treaty #9.

Treaty #9, also known as the James Bay Treaty of 1906, promised First Nations 640 acres per family of five, or 128 acres per member. However, the Matachewan First Nation did not receive the full extent of land they were entitled to under this agreement. This historic settlement represents a crucial step towards rectifying this injustice.

The agreement, reached after years of negotiation and consultation, includes compensation of $590,000 from the Ontario government and the allocation of 5,027.7 acres of provincial Crown land to the Matachewan First Nation. This land will be instrumental in furthering the community’s economic and social development, paving the way for a brighter future for its members.

“This is a very important day for Matachewan First Nation,” remarked Chief Sonny Batisse. “The settlement of our treaty land entitlement claim will benefit the community’s economic and social development in so many ways. It is with great honour and pride to our ancestors and our future generations to come, that we have been able to right a historic wrong against the citizens of Matachewan First Nation.”

The significance of this settlement extends beyond mere compensation. It represents a commitment to reconciliation and a recognition of past injustices. “Settling this land claim is a significant step forward in advancing reconciliation with the Matachewan First Nation,” stated Will Bouma, Parliamentary Assistant to the Ontario Minister of Indigenous Affairs. “The settlement, achieved through respectful and meaningful negotiations, will enhance the economic well-being of the community and bring greater prosperity to the region.”

The Matachewan First Nation’s journey towards justice has been long and arduous, but today marks a turning point. As Chief Batisse aptly put it, “We want to recognize and honor our past leadership who began this journey to bring forth justice and reconciliation, and acknowledge all parties that have made this possible.”

In a time where reconciliation is at the forefront of national dialogue, this settlement serves as a beacon of hope and progress. It demonstrates what can be achieved through collaboration, understanding, and a commitment to righting past wrongs. As Matachewan First Nation looks towards the future, they do so with renewed optimism and a sense of pride in their heritage and their resilience.

Samantha Deschamps

Samantha Deschamps serves as the Queens Park Reporter, offering insightful coverage of provincial politics with depth and accuracy. With a keen understanding of legislative intricacies, Deschamps provides invaluable perspectives on matters affecting Ontario. For inquiries or feedback, contact Samantha at samantha.deschamps@gtaweekly.ca.

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