Ginoogaming First NationTimber Claim History
Ginoogaming First Nation Specific Claim
- In 1926, Ginoogaming First Nation surrendered the merchantable timber on the Long Lake Reserve #77 for sale by the Crown. The Crown had estimated that the merchantable timber on the reserve was equal to about 30,000 cords of spruce pulpwood, though no full timber cruise (assessment by a qualified forester) was conducted at the time.
- A five-year contract for the cutting of this timber was awarded to Charles W. Cox in December of that year. The contract required that payment be made by the cord, in accordance with the 1923 Timber Regualtions.
- Two years later, the cutting had not yet started and Cox offered to purchase the timber outright from the Crown. The Crown agreed to sell the timber to Cox for the one-time sum of $100,000. In December 1929, Cox transferred his license to another company and clear cutting on the reserve began immediately.
- In 1933, a check cruise was ordered, which indicated that 105,000 cords would likely be but by the company. Between 1934-1937, the Crown continued to renew the license allowing the cutting to continue.
- The First Nation has always asserted that far more timber was cut during the 1930’s than had been originally estimated and also maintained that the Crown was aware of the situation and yet failed to stop it. In 1990, the First Nation submitted a specific claim to Canada, alleging among things, that the Crown had greatly underestimated the amount of “merchantable timber” on the reserve and then sold it at undervalue. The First Nation also claimed that the Crown’s failure to enforce the six-inch cutting diameter restrictions and the en bloc sale to Cox were contrary to the timber regulations.
- Canada accepted the claim for negotiation on August 13, 1999. An Agreement-in-Principle was reached between Canada and the First Nation on July 24,2001. and a Settlement Agreement was initialed in early September of 2001.
- The Settlement Agreement was then ratified by the First Nation though a referendum of all members (on and off-reserve) and by Canada.
- Under the settlement, Canada will pay $14.5 million in compensation to Ginoogaming First Nation, which includes the negotiating costs incurred by the First Nation.
- The compensation paid pursuant to the Settlement Agreement is to be a long-term asset for the future benefit of the First Nation and its members living both on- and off-reserve. The money has been deposited into a Trust Fund created by the First Nation and will be administered in an open and accountable manner by Trustees in accordance with the terms and conditions set out in the Trust Agreement.