Feds approve $240M Akwesasne land claim

A Government of Canada map shows the Dundee specific land claim in pink. Cabinet has authorized its Crown-Indigenous relations minister to sign a $240 million land claim settlement with Akwesasne. (Photo/Akwesasne.ca)

OTTAWA – The federal government has effectively signed off on a $240 million land claim deal between it and Akwesasne.

Cabinet authorized Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett to sign the agreement last week, which will see the feds make the compensation payment to Akwesasne.

The claim settles a dispute over the Dundee area of the reserve and also allows the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne to buy up to 18,000 acres of land on the open market to add to its footprint.

The process has been 39 years in the making, after the MCA filed the claim in 1981 stating that a surrender of the land in 1888 was invalid because there never was an intention to surrender.

The government made the $240 million offer in 2015, which then had to go through a community referendum. Five appeals were filed against the 2018 referendum, which were only cleared in late January 2020.