Ottawa to overhaul how it deals with First Nations historical claims

Posted In: News Date:Dec 4th, 2018

The federal government is poised to overhaul the way it settles historical claims from First Nations over issues like loss of reserve lands and mishandled funds, according to Carolyn Bennett, the minister of Crown-Indigenous relations.

In an interview with CBC News, Bennett said her government would soon announce a replacement to the current drawn-out model where federal officials have three years to decide on whether to accept or reject what's known as a specific claim. That deadline is often missed.

"The new system is going to make a huge difference," she said on Monday.

"People aren't going to have to wait three years to find out whether their claim was even rejected or accepted."

Specific claims are based on historical grievances over issues like unfulfilled treaty obligations, loss of reserve lands and mishandled First Nations funds or other assets. They are estimated to be a multi-billion dollar liability for Ottawa.