|OTTAWA Unceded Traditional Algonquin Territory, Ontario — Today, Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, together with Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs Ontario, and Chief Jason Henry, Chief of Chippewas of Kettle & Stony Point First Nation, announced the addition of lands to Chippewas of Kettle & Stony Point First Nation.
Chief Jason Henry, Chief of Chippewas of Kettle & Stony Point First Nation says, “The Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation would like to acknowledge the formal return of a portion the lands we call Aazhoodena (Stony Point). As a Nation, we have always known about the significance of Aazhoodena, and the lands there were reclaimed in 1995. The return of the former Provincial Park lands is an important legal indicator for our Ancestors and our future generations that we’re home again and the land is legally ours. The return of this portion of the lands is but a small portion of what was lost and although the process is not perfect, it gives hope that in the future we may see the full return of Aazhoodena. It is also important that we honour the memory of Dudley George today, who made the supreme sacrifice in respect of the Ancestors and all of those who have dedicated their lives to the return of our lands.”
A federal Ministerial Order, signed on August 25, 2020, sets apart 45.992 hectares (113.629 acres) of land as an addition to reserve to Chippewas of Kettle & Stony Point First Nation. The province of Ontario earlier transferred the former Ipperwash Provincial Park Lands to Canada for this purpose, fulfilling a commitment made by the provincial government following the release of the Ipperwash Inquiry Report. Returning these former reserve lands will enable the First Nation to meet its current and future needs for community and traditional uses.
“The return of these lands is an important step in the history of Canada, as today we are able to right past wrongs. Dudley George died in 1995 trying to reclaim these Lands and today, the Government of Canada is honoured to set apart these lands for the use and benefit of the First Nation. Our work together is another step in advancing reconciliation and improving the treaty relationship with First Nations. I wish Chief Henry and Chippewas of Kettle & Stony Point First Nation great success in their continued development,” states Dr. Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P., Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations.
“Ontario is proud to see the completion of this land transfer to the Chippewas of Kettle & Stony Point First Nation. Our government is committed to taking real action to advance reconciliation and strengthen relationships with Indigenous partners for the benefit of First Nations across the province,” adds Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs Ontario Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines for Ontario.
Additions to reserves are key to advancing reconciliation with Indigenous communities across Canada and create the foundation for social development and economic growth that can generate benefits for Indigenous peoples and all Canadians.
Ontario and Canada have been continuing work on land claim settlements across the province.