Suit wants Robinson-Huron Treaty declared invalid and Algonquin territory recognized
A lawsuit filed on behalf of 40 Indigenous hunters and fishermen in the North Bay area could have wide reaching implications.
It claims the Robinson-Huron Treaty of 1850, which covers much of northeastern Ontario, is invalid, because the people who signed it had no right to give away someone else’s homeland.
The suit was filed earlier this month on behalf of Algonquin hunters from the Sturgeon Falls area and commercial fishermen from the nearby Nipissing First Nation.
The hunters were charged by provincial conservation officers in years past for hunting outside of their traditional territory, which under the Robinson-Huron Treaty, belongs to the Anishnabek or Ojibwa people.
The fishermen were also charged by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources last year under an agreement between the province and Nipissing First Nation.
It says that anyone who doesn’t follow the commercial fishing rules set out by the Nipissing chief and council will be turned over to the MNR to be charged under Ontario laws.
Lorne Stevens is one of the commercial fishermen from Nipissing First Nation who are behind a lawsuit claiming that a northern Ontario treaty was signed by the wrong Indigenous people. (Erik White/CBC )