Chapter 19 Key Terms, Figures, or Sites

Aboriginal Action Plan: A renewed partnership with Indigenous people and Indigenous organizations to recognize past mistakes and injustices, especially in regard to residential schools, announced by the federal government in January of 1998 in response to the RCAP report. This Plan led to an agreement on compensation for residential school abuses in 2007 and a formal apology from the Prime Minister in June of 2008.

Douglas Creek: A real estate development on lands claimed by the Haudenosaunee Confederacy on the edge of Caledonia, Ontario, near Brantford and Hamilton, on Haldimand Grant lands, that led to Haudenosaunee occupation of the disputed land and bitter confrontations between Haudenosaunee activists, local residents, and outside agitators. The Ontario government purchased the land from the developer, Henco Industries, in June of 2006, but retained the land in trust. A final agreement had not been reached by date of publication.

Ermineskin Band and Nation v. Canada: Central Alberta First Nations of Ermineskin and Samson that have sought payments for oil and gas royalties through the courts since 1989. The issue concerns the Crown’s management of the royalties under the Indian Act and the band’s insistence that the provisions of Treaty Six give them the right to manage their own royalties. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 2009 that while the Crown was obligated under Treaty Six to “put away to increase” funds from sales of lands and resources, it was not obligated to diversify that investment for the best possible yield. While they lost the case, the government did give the bands control of their own trust funds and they have earned a substantially higher rate of return on them as compared to when they were under federal management.

Haldimand Grant: The grant of a tract of land extending from the source of the Grand River north of Grand Valley in southwestern Ontario to its mouth, where it discharges into Lake Erie at Port Maitland, that extended six miles (10 km) from either side of the Grand River in Upper Canada (Ontario), totalling 2,842,480 acres, granted in 1784 to loyalist Haudenosaunee people “which them and their posterity are to enjoy forever” by Frederick Haldimand, governor of Quebec, in acknowledgement of service provided and lands and lives lost during the American Revolutionary War. The Mississauga Ojibwe had ceded 3 million acres (1,214,100 ha) on the Niagara Peninsula to the colonial government from which this grant was made.

Idle No More: (2012–) Idle No More began as a protest movement in opposition to Bill C-45, which, included amendments to the Indian Act, Navigable Waters Protection Act, and Environmental Assessment Act, as well as 57 other previously passed pieces of legislation. The changes attacked reservation lands, removed protections for hundreds of waterways, and generally weakened Canada’s environmental laws. The call to get up and do something for the environment spread to the United States, Ukraine, New Zealand, and other locations. Although it started as resistance to Bill C-45, the movement became something much broader, renewing ties between Indigenous and environmental activism and also leading to a strong call for Indigenous people to return to Indigenous identities and lifeways.

independent assessment process: Process set up to address serious cases of physical and sexual abuse as part of the residential schools reparations policy under the terms of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.

Ipperwash Crisis: (1995) During WWII, the Canadian government expropriated Stony Point First Nation lands, which included a burial ground, under the War Measures Act to use for military camps and practice ranges. While they were told that this was a temporary agreement, the lands had still not been returned by 1995 and were at that time considered part of Ipperwash Provincial Park. When a group of 30 protesters that included children set up a camp in the park in protest, the Ontario Premier ordered the OPP to remove the protesters. When they raided the camp, one of the unarmed protesters, Dudley George, was killed. When a report about the incident was released in 2006, it provided clear evidence of systemic and overt racism. Ipperwash Provincial Park was finally returned to the Kettle and Stony Point First Nations in 2020.

land defenders: A term used for individuals, usually Indigenous, who peacefully protect ancestral lands from development, pollution, depletion, and other forms of destruction, often through occupation of the lands.

Oka: (Kanesatake, Lake of Two Mountains) Land near Montreal granted by France in 1717 to the Seminary of St Sulpice as a mission for the Haudenosaunee. A long-standing dispute over ownership of the land between the Sulpicians and the Kanien’keha:ka culminated in a standoff in 1990 in which Canadian military intervened.

Residential Schools Settlement Agreement: A $2 billion settlement ratified in 2007 including a compensation package paid by the federal government to students who had attended Indian residential schools and funding for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Sinclair, Senator Murray: (Mizhana Gheezhik, The One Who Speaks Pictures in the Sky, b. 1951) The first Indigenous judge in Manitoba, and the first in the country to be appointed to the Court of Queen’s Bench. In 2007 he was asked to be chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and after issuing the six-volume final report for that Commission in 2015, was appointed to the Canadian Senate by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2016. He retired from the Senate in 2021.

Treaty Land Entitlement Agreements: (1992, 1997) Agreements by which Saskatchewan (1992) and Manitoba (1997) ensured that all First Nations received the amount of reserve lands to which they were entitled.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Commission established in 2008 and chaired by then-Justice Murray Sinclair from 2009, which completed its community hearings and special events in 2014 and issued its final report in 2015. The Commission mandate was to discover the truth regarding the damages done by the residential schools and, by publicizing its mission and work, to seek reconciliation between Indigenous communities and Canadian governments and the broader Canadian public, as well as within Indigenous communities. The Commission made 94 “Calls to Action” in its report, which Canada and Canadians have still not fully implemented.

water protectors: Activists and cultural workers who are often Indigenous that focus on the defence of water and watersheds. While this term gained traction during the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, it had also been used in reference to water walkers—Indigenous women who walked around the lakes and major rivers of North America to bring attention to the importance of preserving them as part of healthy ecosystems.

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