Treaty and Aboriginal Rights Research Program Description
Our program criteria is limited in its policy descriptions as outlined in “Justice at Last” and we are bound by the contribution agreement to work on specific claims arising from legal obligations of the Crown mainly breaches of assets arising from Treaty, Indian Act, or non-provisions of reserve land, administration of reserve lands monies held in trust, or illegal disposition of reserve lands, inadequate compensation for reserve lands and finally fraud in relation the acquisition and disposition reserve lands by agents of the Crown.
TARR is funded to perform research until the validation stage, which includes the minimum standards. Our member First Nations apply for Loan Funding independently for specific claims negotiations.
Proposed performance indicators criteria for TARR research units has been amended to include other areas besides the specific claims research.
TARR had a workshop and Think Tank in the last week of September 2010, and during this workshop and Think Tank, most agreed that the proposed criteria on performance indicators are already undertaken by TARR. This was a concern from others that more services could be offered. Our culture, language and Anishinabe view would be difficult to pass on to others, and that there is so much more that we can do.
Other issues during our internal and review and think thank were identified and the transfer of historical and legal technical knowledge to others is important. TARR requires additional staff to process the specific claims. Mainly producing the document index and the document collation.
The process is based on a Lawful obligation, and important note is that Specific Claims Branch has not forwarded any historical reports for review prior to the claim being submitted to the Department of Justice.
Here is an excerpt from the 2009 Policy “Justice At Last” for “lawful obligation” validation stage of the process:
A First Nation may submit a claim seeking compensation for its losses based on any of the following grounds:
- a treaty or another agreement between the First Nation and the Crown*;
- a breach of a legal obligation of the Crown* under the Indian Act or any other legislation – pertaining to Indians or lands reserved for Indians – of Canada or of a colony of Great Britain of which at least some portion now forms part of Canada;
- a breach of a legal obligation arising from the Crown’s* provision or non-provision of reserve lands, including unilateral undertakings that give rise to a fiduciary obligation at law, or its administration of reserve lands, Indian moneys or other assets of the First Nation;
- an illegal lease or disposition by the Crown* of reserve lands;
- a failure to provide adequate compensation for reserve lands taken or damaged by the Crown* or any of its agencies under legal authority; or
- fraud by employees or agents of the Crown* in connection with the acquisition, leasing or disposition of reserve lands.*This term is defined in the Glossary.
The compensation criteria as previously set out in Outstanding Business: A Native Claims Policy shall continue to be the basis upon which compensation is determined.
- As a general rule, a claimant band shall be compensated for the loss it has incurred and the damages it has suffered as a consequence of the breach by the federal government of its lawful obligations. This compensation will be based on legal principles.
- Where a claimant band can establish that certain of its reserve lands were taken or damaged under legal authority, but that no compensation was ever paid, the band shall be compensated by the payment of the value of these lands at the time of the taking or the amount of the damage done, whichever is the case.
- (i) Where a claimant band can establish that certain of its reserve lands were never lawfully surrendered, or otherwise taken under legal authority, the band shall be compensated either by the return of the lands or by the current unimproved value of the lands.
(ii) Compensation may include an amount based on the loss of use of the lands in question, where it can be established that the claimants did in fact suffer such a loss. In every case the loss shall be the net loss.
Here is the minimum standards for Specific Claims Submissions.:
- Claim Document
The claim document must include:
- a list of allegations based on one or more of the grounds related to the validity of the claim, as set out in the specific claims policy;
- legal arguments supporting each allegation;
- a statement of the facts supporting the allegations;
- a statement that compensation is being claimed; and,
- a list of authorities with citations, including treaties, statutes, case law and law journal articles, that support the allegations (copies not required).
- Historical ReportA historical report, including references to supporting documents, outlining the factual circumstances surrounding the allegations, must be provided.
- Supporting Documents Complete copies of primary documents and relevant excerpts of secondary documents relied upon to support the allegations included in the claim document and referred to in the historical report are also necessary. Further details related to supporting documents are included in the “Form and Manner” in the Minimum Standard guidelines as follows:
Minimum Standard for Form and Manner
- The documents provided in support of the claim submission must be clearly labelled with the document source and number. Supporting documents must be identified as referenced in the claim document and/or the historical report and/or the list of all allegations. A separate document index setting out, at a minimum, the document number, date and archival reference where applicable, must be provided with the claim submission.
- Documents can be submitted as hard copies and/or on CD-Rom, DVD-ROM, or any other standard mass storage device.
- The supporting documents must be legible and complete. This may require preparing transcripts of documents that are of poor quality or are difficult to read. Avoid writing on copies of documents included in the submission and ensure that document pages are not cut off, stapled through or added to binders in a manner that obscures the text. Minor technical errors, such as a missing page or illegible photocopy, will be brought to the attention of the claimant so that the error may be addressed by the claimant. This should not, however, affect compliance with the Minimum Standards.
For more Information contact Andy Sky Director, TARR or Larry Morrison, Archival Clerk. at 1-807-548-4214.