I chose to do my research paper on land claims. In this paper I will give an assessment of the James Bay and Northern Quebec land claim final settlement as well as compare it with the Labrador Inuit land claim. I will talk about the participants in the negotiations, as well as compensation recieved. I will also describe some of the implementation procedures as well as land regimes. Finally I will discuss some of the third parties involved as well as resource revenues allocation.
The James Bay and Northern Quebec agreement was probably the most significant land claim settlement ever. Its "often referred to as Canada's first modern land claim agreement" ( Indian and Northen Affairs Canada, pg 28) Its legal status was that of a binding contract, that could not be broken. The whole process started when the James Bay Hydroelectric project began to construct on land that the natives used for hunting and trapping that was unceeded. Many rivers were dammed and diverted which in turn caused mass flood and led to the deterioration of many Cree and Inuit lives. The James Bay Hydroelectric project was the driving factor that lead to the negotiations for a land claim settlement.
Quebec was obligated to look after Indian title after they signed the boundary extension act of 1912, in which their territory was increased, but in which they were responsible for all the land claim settlements to follow. "Unlike some other provinces such as Ontario, Quebec did not deem it timely from 1912 on to have aboriginals release the right to which they could lay claim" ( Gangon and Rocher, pg 17) Quebec's refusal to take any responsibility in the matter of Indian title led to the land claim agreement.
When Quebec's provincial government refused to negotiate a cession of property with the Cree and Inuit, they took legal action and brought the provincial government as well as the crown corporation of the James Bay development to court. The courts...
Bibliography: Chief negotiators, Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement (2003)
Indian and Northern Affairs, Comprehensive land claims policy
Gangon, Alain-G and Rocher, Guy, Reflections on the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement
Morse, Bradford W., Aboriginal Peoples and the Law
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