Out of court settlement to come between Saugeen Shores and SON

cjos land

An out of court settlement is being finalized in the land claim dispute between the Saugeen Ojibway Nation and Saugeen Shores - just one of dozens of municipalities involved in the long-standing legal action.   

The town says they're working through the details to settle THEIR involvement in SON's claim to the Bruce Peninsula. 

Once final, the agreement will settle a claim launched by SON approximately 25 years ago. 

The claim went to trial in 2019, and closing arguments were heard in October 2020. 

To date, no decision has been released but this out of court resolution is moving forward in the spirit of co operation with their neighbours according to Saugeen First Nation Chief Lester Anoquot.  

Head Councillor Anthony Chegahno (Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation) echoed that: "These talks are a positive step towards reconciliation and part of building strong relationships with local governments in our traditional territory." 

The Mayor of the Town of Saugeen Shores, Luke Charbonneau commented "The Town is very pleased with the positive progress towards settling this long standing land claim. We look forward to our continued work with our friends and neighbours at SON on this settlement. I hope this is the beginning of a path forward for our communities to build a stronger shared future."

SON's claim with Saugeen Shores includes some municipal road allowances and shore road allowances.

That includes roads owned by Saugeen Shores. 

More details respecting the settlement will become available once it has been finalized.

Last fall, a similar deal was reached with Grey County involving the transfer of about 275 acres of county forest in Georgian Bluffs known as the Mountain Lake forest property. 

Grey County was the first municipality involved in the claim to reach a settlement.


Background ~ 

SON is made up of two First Nations - the Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation and the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation - with a shared history and ancestry. SON's traditional homelands - or its territory - includes the Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula and about 1 ½ million acres of land to the south of it, stretching from Goderich to Collingwood. 

SON launched a claim related to some of the lands on the Peninsula 25 years ago against Canada and Ontario. The case is about the actions of the British Crown who, in 1836, pressed SON to surrender 1.5 million acres of its lands south of Owen Sound. In exchange, SON says that the Crown made an important promise: to protect the Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula for SON, forever. But, 18 years later the Crown came back for a surrender of the Peninsula.

SON's $80 billion legal action says that this was a breach of the duty the Crown owed to SON, and that the Crown misled SON in the negotiations leading up to the surrender. It seeks the return of lands on the Peninsula that are still owned by Ontario or Canada or have not been bought and paid for by third parties.  

An agreement between Saugeen Shores and SON would settle the portion of the claim against Saugeen Shores, but the claim will continue against Canada, Ontario and other municipalities. 

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