Sudbury, ON – Robinson Huron Treaty (RHT) beneficiaries are hoping for a positive decision after final arguments wrap up June 22nd, 2018 in the court case. The RHT Annuity case has been in court since September 2017. Twenty-one Anishinabek communities with annuitants under the RHT took the federal and provincial governments to court to uphold the augmentation clause contained in the 1850 treaty.
RHT Trust Spokesperson Batchewana Chief Dean Sayers says they’re looking forward to a beneficial decision, “We’re really optimistic that we’ll see a decision that will call to light the failure of the crown to honor the escalator clause within the treaty.”
Wikwemikoong Ogimaa Duke Peltier agrees. He says, “It’s very exciting that we’re at the point that we’re going through this phase of court action to finally see resolution and a favourable decision at some point in the very near future.” A court decision is expected to take several months. If a settlement is not reached, Phase 2 will begin in the spring of 2019.
The RHT Annuity case was also heard with another case involving the Robinson Superior Treaty. At issue is the interpretation of an ‘augmentation’ clause, common to both of the Treaties. The clause provides for increases in the annuity.
The Anishinabek Nations took Ontario and Canada to court over the Crown’s failure to implements the terms of the RHT, signed in 1850. Anishinabek RHT beneficiaries have not received an increase to the four-dollar annuity since 1874. The Anishinabek territory contained within the Robinson Huron Treaty territory includes about 35,700 square miles of land on the northern shores of Lake Huron; and the Robinson Superior treaty covers approximately 16,700 square miles, north of Lake Superior.
The trial began in Thunder Bay in September 2017, and has moved throughout the RHT Territory, including at Manitoulin Island and Garden River, near Sault Ste. Marie, the site of the Treaty signing in 1850.
The following First Nations are part of the Robinson Huron Treaty Trust Annuity Case.
Atikameksheng Anishnawbek, Aundeck Omni Kaning, Batchewana, Dokis, Garden River, Henvey Inlet, Magnetawan, M’Chigeeng, Mississauga #8, Nipissing, Sagamok Anishnawbek, Serpent River, Shawanaga, Sheguiandah, Sheshegwaning, Thessalon, Wahnapitae, Wasauksing, Whitefish River, Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve, Zhiibaahaasing.