Williams Treaties First Nations settlement
In 1923, the Williams Treaties were concluded between Canada, Ontario, and seven Chippewa and Mississauga First Nations. These Treaties provided for no annuities, no treaty rights, and no reserve lands. They marked the culmination of decades of injustice suffered by the Chippewa and Mississauga during which the Crown failed to respect the First Nations’ Pre-Confederation Treaty rights and settled the First Nations’ unsurrendered territories contrary to the Royal Proclamation.
This difficult history of broken promises was addressed in one of the most complex legal trials in Canadian history.
Hutchins Legal represented the seven First Nations in their suit against Canada and Ontario for a breach of the Crown’s fiduciary and legal obligations. After many years of evidence, dozens of historical, economic and legal experts, and many community witnesses, Canada and Ontario offered to negotiate a settlement.
Hutchins Legal worked with the First Nations negotiators and helped secure a settlement in 2018. The settlement included a financial compensation of $1.1 billion, a recognition of the Pre-Confederation Treaty harvesting rights so long denied by the Crown, and additions to reserve lands. Additionally, the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario both provided a public apology for the wrongs that have been committed to the Williams Treaties First Nations.