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AOK to proceed to Specific Claims Tribunal

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Compiled by Shari Narine







The Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation has been successful in defending their right to proceed to the Specific Claims Tribunal of Canada. Canada made an offer to settle the AOK First Nation’s claim without any negotiation and on a “take it or leave it” basis.  The AOK First Nation challenged Canada’s process of engagement for claims that Canada deems as “small” (claims valued at less than $3 million). In his decision issued Jan.17, Justice Patrick Smith of the Specific Claims Tribunal of Canada noted that the process employed by the Specific Claims Branch, which is an arm of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, is “paternalistic, self-serving, arbitrary and disrespectful.”  He said Canada’s conduct in this claim did not uphold the principle of good faith. The Specific Claims Tribunal was established in 2008 as an independent tribunal with authority to make binding decisions on specific land claims.  “The legitimate claims of First Nations are longstanding, unfinished business.  They are a legal and economic liability for Canada. Resolving these claims will help all of us move forward,” said Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo in a news release.