Through the Specific Claims Policy, the government of Canada and the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation concluded the Big Bear Creek settlement, which resolves a land dispute tied to events that took place nearly 200 years ago. A special ceremony was held to mark the conclusion of the outstanding specific land claim on Dec. 9. The First Nation approved the agreement in a vote on March 23, 2013, which also included the approval of the First Nation's plans to manage its settlement funds. The Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development then approved the settlement agreement on Nov. 25. Under the settlement, the First Nation has agreed to receive nearly $120 million in compensation for past damages resulting from the claim. The agreement provides the First Nation with the option to buy up to 5,120 acres of land on a willing seller/willing buyer basis to be converted to reserve. The Big Bear Creek claim settlement stems from the sale of Chippewa reserve lands near Florence, Ont. by the British Government of Upper Canada in the 1830s. The reserve near Big Bear Creek was to be surveyed and set aside for the Chippewa Nation's exclusive use, according to terms negotiated by Chippewas Chiefs in the Longwoods Treaty talks between 1818 and 1822.