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First Nation Members reject Land Claim Deal

Greg Sarazin

By Greg Sarazin


First Nation Members reject Land Claim Deal

Pikwakanagan First Nation, February 22 - Community members of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation have sent a message to their Chief and Council in a letter, hand delivered this past Friday. The letter, originating from a recent community meeting articulated the community's rejection of the Agreement in Principle (AIP) scheduled to be voted on by the Algonquins this coming March 5th.

An Agreement in Principle (AIP) is the first step in settling a Land Claim and sets out the principles guiding the development of a Final Agreement and sets a out the limitations of each of its components.

"Details of the proposed AIP have just recently come to light and members of the First Nation are coming to realize the scope of the damage that will be done to them, their children and to Pikwakanagan's future." Said concerned community member Greg Sarazin. Greg was asked by the meeting attendees to get this story to the media on their behalf.

Over the past several years, community members have provided input to the Chief and Council on what was acceptable and what would not be acceptable in a settlement of the Algonquin land claim. "Our concerns have fallen on deaf ears", said Greg. The proposed AIP contains language that leads to a loss of identity as an Algonquin First Nation and to a future in which "the Pikwakanagan Reserve will cease to exist". (Ontario Negotiator Brian Crane in a letter to Jim Pine - July 15, 2013)

That future is unacceptable to the First Nation membership and further action to get the people's voice heard is being undertaken. A petition is now being circulated and will be presented to Chief and Council in the very near future. Algonquin Elders and the Pikwakanagan Grandmothers are now discussing this matter.

"We are fighting for our future and the future of Pikwakanagan". Said Greg Sarazin.

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Greg Sarazin 1 (613) 401-2742

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