Project Description

Robinson Huron Treaty Annuities Trial Phase 1
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ROBINSON HURON TREATY ANNUITIES TRIAL – PHASE 1

Watch the historic trial in its entirety.  Captured by FirsTel, Wikwemikong.  For more information regarding the RHT Annuities Case – Phase 1, please contact our partners at the Robinson Huron Treaty Litigation Fund, found here.

The RHW would like to acknowledge the many community members of the Robinson Huron Treaty territory who contributed so much to making this historic decision a reality.  Chi Miigwetch!

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Robinson Huron Treaty Litigation Fund (RHTLF)

Main Purpose

21 Lake Huron First Nations (identified below) formed the Robinson Huron Treaty Litigation Fund (RHTLF) in 2010 to assist the First Nations to pursue litigation and/or negotiations against Canada and Ontario for failing to increase annuities payments since 1874. The RHTLF was created to undertake and pursue litigation and/or negotiations related to the Robinson-Huron Treaty Annuities Claim on behalf of the Settlers of the RHTLF and/or their members who receive or are entitled to receive annuities under the Robinson Huron Treaty of 1850, as well as others who receive or are entitled to receive annuities under the said Treaty.

Phase One

On December 21st, 2018, Justice Patricia Hennessy, of the Ontario Superior Court, ruled in favour of the RHT Plaintiffs. Her decision is ground-breaking in that it gives expression to the doctrine of reconciliation by interpreting and ordering the implementation of the Robinson Treaties in the context of the nation to nation relationship existent in 1850. It also gives meaning and force to Anishinaabe laws, to understand the common intention of the parties to the Treaty. Regarding the augmentation clause, Justice Hennessy held: I find that the Crown has a mandatory and reviewable obligation to increase the Treaties’ annuities when the economic circumstances warrant. The economic circumstances will trigger an increase to the annuities if the net Crown resource-based revenues permit the Crown to increase the annuities without incurring a loss. The principle of the honour of the Crown and the doctrine of fiduciary duty impose on the Crown the obligation to diligently implement the Treaties’ promise to achieve their purpose (i.e. of reflecting the value of the territories in the annuities) and other related justiciable duties. Justice Hennessy also stated: The Anishinaabe and the Crown now have an opportunity to determine what role those historic promises will play in shaping their modern treaty relationship. The pressures they faced in 1850 will continue to challenge them. However, in 1850 the Crown and the Anishinaabe shared a vision that the Anishinaabe and the settler society could continue to co-exist in a mutually respectful and beneficial relationship going into the future. Today, we arrive at that point in the relationship again. It is therefore incumbent on the parties to renew their treaty relationship now and in the future. Ontario has appealed the Stage One decision, but Canada has not. The appeal will be heard in January 2021. The appeal was scheduled for May 15, 2020, but the Covid-19 situation caused a postponement.

Spread the word...

Robinson Huron Treaty Litigation Fund (RHTLF)

Main Purpose

21 Lake Huron First Nations (identified below) formed the Robinson Huron Treaty Litigation Fund (RHTLF) in 2010 to assist the First Nations to pursue litigation and/or negotiations against Canada and Ontario for failing to increase annuities payments since 1874. The RHTLF was created to undertake and pursue litigation and/or negotiations related to the Robinson-Huron Treaty Annuities Claim on behalf of the Settlers of the RHTLF and/or their members who receive or are entitled to receive annuities under the Robinson Huron Treaty of 1850, as well as others who receive or are entitled to receive annuities under the said Treaty.

Phase One

On December 21st, 2018, Justice Patricia Hennessy, of the Ontario Superior Court, ruled in favour of the RHT Plaintiffs. Her decision is ground-breaking in that it gives expression to the doctrine of reconciliation by interpreting and ordering the implementation of the Robinson Treaties in the context of the nation to nation relationship existent in 1850. It also gives meaning and force to Anishinaabe laws, to understand the common intention of the parties to the Treaty. Regarding the augmentation clause, Justice Hennessy held: I find that the Crown has a mandatory and reviewable obligation to increase the Treaties’ annuities when the economic circumstances warrant. The economic circumstances will trigger an increase to the annuities if the net Crown resource-based revenues permit the Crown to increase the annuities without incurring a loss. The principle of the honour of the Crown and the doctrine of fiduciary duty impose on the Crown the obligation to diligently implement the Treaties’ promise to achieve their purpose (i.e. of reflecting the value of the territories in the annuities) and other related justiciable duties. Justice Hennessy also stated: The Anishinaabe and the Crown now have an opportunity to determine what role those historic promises will play in shaping their modern treaty relationship. The pressures they faced in 1850 will continue to challenge them. However, in 1850 the Crown and the Anishinaabe shared a vision that the Anishinaabe and the settler society could continue to co-exist in a mutually respectful and beneficial relationship going into the future. Today, we arrive at that point in the relationship again. It is therefore incumbent on the parties to renew their treaty relationship now and in the future. Ontario has appealed the Stage One decision, but Canada has not. The appeal will be heard in January 2021. The appeal was scheduled for May 15, 2020, but the Covid-19 situation caused a postponement.

Spread the word...