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Bruce County, Ont. and Saugeen First Nation settle land claim

The offices of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation. (Scott Miller / CTV News) The offices of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation. (Scott Miller / CTV News)

It took decades, but Bruce County and the Saugeen Ojibway Nation have settled a land claim dating back 25 years.

Bruce County has agreed to transfer 300 acres of county forests to the Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON).

SON lays claim to 1.5 million acres of Midwestern Ontario stretching from Goderich to Collingwood, along with the Bruce Peninsula. They say the land was stolen from them by the Crown back in the 1800s.

They are seeking recognition of ownership of lands on the Bruce Peninsula still owned by Ontario and Canada, and not owned by third parties. They are also seeking compensation.

Saugeen Shores and Grey County settled their portions of the land claim with SON earlier this year.

SON continues to try and reach out-of-court settlements with other municipalities in the disputed territory, while they continue legal action against the upper levels of government on their land claim court case, which ended on October 2020, but appeals and other trials continue.

“Through collaboration with SON friends and partners, we have reached a resolution that brings closure to this long-standing claim,” said Bruce County Warden Janice Jackson in a statement. “This agreement is a positive step forward that encourages continued learning, conversation, and relationship-building within our communities."

Chief Lester Anoquot of the Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation said, “Finalizing the settlement agreement with Bruce County, including the return of more than 300 acres of County Forest, is an important part of the path toward reconciliation. We look forward to moving forward with our neighbours in the spirit of cooperation.”

“While there remains much work to be done, this settlement with Bruce County is a positive step toward reconciliation and building better, stronger relationships in our Territory,” added Chief Veronica Smith of the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation. Top Stories

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