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1850 Huron Robinson Treaty ~ 1859 Pennefather Treaty Research


Carol Nadjiwon, B.A., M.A.,
February- 2011 - Research Program Information
The Researcher has been working on the Historical Report for a BFN claim.
The  BFN Treaty and Research Committee (TAR) meeting took place on Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at BFN Administration Centre.  The researcher works with this Committee.  The TAR members include: Trudy Boyer, Councillor; Carolyn Ainslie; Faye Grawbarger and Patti Lesage.  The purpose of the Committee is to address BFN public education which involves  communication, community workshops and oral history collection of stories.
Responsibilities  -   Batchewana First Nation requires informed decision-making and a knowledgeable membership to support and achieve justice.
The Researcher has also served as the coordinator of the legal committee on the logging and Garantua Park MNR charges.  As coordinator, meetings were organized to deal with legal issues and information between legal counsel, BFN Council and BFN information meetings.

There are two ways of resolving treaty issues.  One is through the Canadian court system and the other is through negotiations, under the federal specific claims policy and the Specific Claims Tribunal Act.
Specific Claims Policy:   The Policy principles are: an outstanding lawful obligation must be confirmed, valid claims will be compensated in accordance with legal principles and any settlement reached must represent the final resolution of the grievance.
Assessment:   A claim must be submitted by a First Nation and cannot concern the delivery or funding of programs or services related to policing, regulatory enforcement, corrections, education, health, child protection or social assistance, or of any similar programs or services.               
Grounds for a Claim:   Grounds for a claim and compensation must be based on one of the following.
a) a failure to fulfil a legal obligation of the Crown to provide lands or other assets under a treaty or another agreement between the First Nation and the Crown;
b) a breach of a legal obligation of the Crown under the Indian Act or any other legislation – pertaining to Indians or lands reserved for Indians – of Canada or of a colony of Great Britain of which at least some portion now forms part of Canada;
c) a breach of a legal obligation arising from the Crown’s provision or non-provision of reserve lands, including unilateral undertakings that give rise to a fiduciary obligation at law, or its administration of reserve lands, Indian moneys or other assets of the First Nation;
d) an illegal lease or disposition by the Crown of reserve lands;
e) a failure to provide adequate compensation for reserve lands taken or damaged by the Crown or any  of its agencies under legal authority; or
f) fraud by employees
Minimum Standards
A.  Claim Document -  The claim document must include:
1.      a list of allegations based on one or more of the grounds
2.      legal arguments supporting each allegation;
3.      a statement of the facts supporting the allegations;
4.      a statement that compensation is being claimed; and,
5.      a list of authorities with citations
B.  Historical Report  -  An historical report includes references to supporting documents and the factual circumstances of the allegations, must be provided.


WAR OF 1812 & OUR OJIBWA ANCESTORS  -   Our elders have told us relations with Canada did not begin with the 1867 Constitution of Canada.  As Europeans claimed land, moved westward and European wars took place, Indigenous nations opposed their trespass and destruction of Indigenous villages and peoples. Pontiac’s battles brought about the 1763 Royal Proclamation.  Our ancestors served as allies to the British in the 1775-1783 American Revolutionary War and the 1812 War.  In Alliance agreements, Indigenous nations were promised an Indian territory, recognized tribal sovereignty, security and support for development.
On June 18, 1812, the United States declared war on Great Britain. When this happened, the British were at war with France.  As a result, Major General Issac Brock relied on Indigenous nations to serve as allies to the British Crown. Chief Shingwaukonse lead 700 Ojibwa warriors who came from a territory from Michipicoten to Mississaugi River, which involved chiefs and warriors from Bawating. On July 17, 1812, Chiefs and warriors played a major role in the capture of Fort Michilimackinac.  Major General Brock, Tecumseh and Indian allies were able to capture Detroit.  Chief Wabechechacke was killed at the 1813 battle at Fort George.  His son, Nebenaigoching, was made chief when he was eight years old in 1819.

Rights of Indigenous Nations
    Prior to contact, Indigenous nations in North America were organized as nations and made treaties with one another. The 1933 Montevideo Convention criteria states that a sovereign, independent nation includes a permanent population, a defined territory, an organized government and capacity to enter into relations with other states, nations.
   At contact treaties were made with the European nations. The Two Row Wampum agreed for co-existence as separate nations in this land and for the bilateral intergovernmental relations to address mutual concerns as development of the land.
   The 1763 Royal Proclamation of Great Britain outlined procedures for treaty-making. In the War of 1812, Indigenous nations served as allies of the British, who in return made certain promises to the nations.
1850 Robinson Huron Treaty - Relationship of Sharing
Before the signing of the 1850 Robinson Huron Treaty, Ojibway nations were concerned about the breaking of promises of other British/Ojibway Treaties, the War of 1812 and human rights violations committed against them. There are several historical records that document petitions. For example, Chief Shingwaukonse and Nebenaigoching were jailed for defending their territories, denied the right of economic development, denied a lawyer at the treaty making and the people were subject to starvation by the colonists. After the 1850 Robinson Huron, petitions continued against treaty violations. Some of these included interference in their rights as nations within their territories or intergovernmental issues, denial of economic development and dispossession of treaty boundaries and land.
Batchewana is commencing work which will see the presentation of our version of our Treaty relationship with the Crown (represented by the Government of Canada) which may or may not reflect the following version;

Reservations shall be held and occupied by the said Chiefs, and their tribes in common for their own use and benefit.
Should the said Chiefs and their respective tribes at any time desire to dispose of any part of such reservations, or of any mineral or other valuable productions thereon, the same will be sold or leased at their request by the Superintendent General of Indian Affairs fro the time being, or other officer having authority so to do, for their sole benefit and to the best advantage.
Further to allow the said Chiefs and their tribes the full and free privilege to hunt over the territory now ceded by them, and to fish in the waters thereof, as they have heretofore been in the habit of doing.
William Benjamin Robinson, on behalf of Her Majesty, who desires to deal liberally and justly with all her subjects, further promises and agrees that should the Territory hereby ceded by the parties of the second part at any future period produce such an amount as will enable the Government of this Province, without incurring loss, to increase annuity. 
The Crown agrees to pay a perpetual annuity.
The Crown further promises and agrees that should the Territory hereby ceded by the parties of the second part at any future period produce such an amount as will enable the Government of this Province, without incurring loss, to increase the annuity.

1859 Pennefather Treaty
Signed June 9, 1859 at Gros Cap by Chiefs and Warriors of Batchewananny and Goulais Bay Bands of Indians, acting for and on behalf of respective bands. Surrender and yield up for ever in trust to Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen, Her heirs and successors, in consideration of the conditions hereinafter set forth, the lands reserved for us under the treaty made in 1850; namely, “The tract of land extending from Wanabekinegunning, west of Gros Cap, to the boundary of the lands ceded by the chiefs of Lake Superior and inland ten miles throughout the whole distance including Batchawananny Bay.”
Batchewana has a conditional agreement with the Crown, as represented by Pennefather, confusion remains as to fulfillment to these conditions. Batchewana now has to consider options in light of the fact that majority of  the following conditions were never met;

We retain the small islands at the Sault Ste Marie reserved in 1850.
The tract now ceded to be sold for our benefit and the interest accruing there from to be annually divided among us.
Each family as at present constituted to receive forty acres on the Garden River Reserve, for which a writing establishing the individual right of occupation will be given.
Any family so desiring may purchase eighty acres of land now ceded at the upset price and on the conditions established by the Government.
Twelve hundred dollars are to be divided among the bands surrendering on the approval of this treaty by His Excellency the Governor General in Council.
Such approval to be the final ratification of the treaty.
Such of us as have made improvement on the ceded land to receive the value of such improvements when appraised by a competent surveyor. 

Land Transactions
Since the 1859 Pennefather Treaty  the Batchewana First Nation has  made constant  efforts to increase the land base throughout the years. The following is a list of land transactions.
 - 1879 and 1855 Orders in Council set apart the Goulais Bay Reserve from the 1859 surrendered lands.
 -  In 1939 Rankin Location was purchased by the Batchewana Band funds. In 1952, it became established as Rankin Reserve 15D by Indian Affairs.
  - The 1963 the Obadjiwan at Batchawana Bay was returned by the federal government.
  - The 1992 Whitefish Island Settlement returned Whitefish Island at the rapids. It was officially declared a reserve in 1997.
Batchewanas way of dealing with Land Issues
Batchewana has historically been unable to fully assert our sovereignty  (post 1867)over our "original territory" as a result of oppressive government relationships. As of recently we as a People have recognized the historic theft and consequent injustices and have begun a reconciliation process with our obligations/responsibilities to our lands.
Batchewana is taking a proactive approach to reconcile  land issues and have begun an aggressive reclamation process which  may  or may  not be consistent with "Canada's Claims Policy" . For instance we assert inherent jurisdiction throughout our entire territory, as per territory outlined in Vidal Anderson Commission report/map  of 1849 which outlines Batchewana Original Territory. Formulation of a land assertion approach is now being discussed at  the BFN Council's table with an eventual presentation for ratification at a community forum set to take place in the very near future.
- For more information on Batchewanas approach to land issues please contact one of your elected Council representatives.
Batchewana’s way of dealing with Land issues may not be aligned with Canada’s Way of Dealing with Treaty and Land Issues. If you are interested in obtaining further information on Canada's  process,  please consult with Canadian governmental representatives.