North Shore Specific Claim And Baxter And Barnhart Specific Claim Not Accepted For Negotiation By Canada

Onerahto:kha /April 18, 2016

The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne (MCA) would like to inform the community that on April 6, 2016, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) notified the MCA that the North Shore Specific Claim and the Baxter and Barnhart Specific Claim have not been accepted for negotiation by Canada.

According to communications received from INAC Specific Claims Branch, the claims were rejected due to lack of evidence regarding use and occupation of lands. INAC has determined, through its review of the claim, that there is no outstanding lawful obligation on the part of the Government of Canada for these lands.  In response to the Baxter and Barnhart Claim, INAC has determined that Akwesasne did not have a protected interest in the islands, and therefore Canada had no obligation to ensure that the islands remained within Akwesasne.

The MCA is extremely disappointed with Canada’s decision not to accept these historic claims for negotiation and by the bases on which its’ decisions were made. It is clear in the evidence that supported the claims that Canada was in breach of its duty to protect the Mohawk’s interest in the islands. In addition, Canada’s assertion that the MCA did not show occupation and use of the North Shore lands can be easily refuted by further research.

There are a number of options that can be considered by the MCA going forward, and more detailed information will be provided to the community in the near future.

For an update on these claims, please attend the General Meeting that is scheduled for Thursday, April 28, 2016 at the Tsi Snaihne Recreation Center with a 6:00 p.m. start time.