The federal government is providing Pauquachin First Nation with more than $41 million in compensation for the historical wrong of brokering a deal that caused the Indigenous community to be inaccessible by land.
According to the Ministry of Crown-Indigenous Relations, the specific claim funds are payment for Canada breaching its fiduciary obligation to the Pauquachin.
The compensation announced Friday (July 30) deal with a specific claim by Pauquachin First Nation over a road right of way through Hatch Point IR 12. An agreement between the federal government and a developer was made to close the existing road to the First Nation’s reserve land to facilitate construction of a gated retirement community and golf course.
The deal resulted in the Pauquachin losing its only route to legally access its community by land – rendering it effectively inaccessible – after a replacement road was never completed.
Pauquachin filed the claim in 2009 and a resolution on the matter was achieved last September.
“This longstanding issue has been tirelessly moved forward by our Elders and Pauquachin chiefs and councillors. We are happy to have achieved this resolution and look forward to working with Canada to resolve our other specific claims,” said Pauquachin First Nation Chief Allan Tom in a release.
The federal minister of Crown-Indigenous relations added that the compensation was the first step in renewing the relationship with the Saanich Peninsula nation and to advance reconciliation.
“This settlement helps right a past wrong and also creates new opportunities for a brighter future as we continue to rebuild our nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous Peoples,” Carolyn Bennett said. “May this settlement stand as a significant milestone on the path to reconciliation for our two nations.”
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