About Tsi:karistisere/Dundee Land Claim

The territory known as Tsi:karistisere/Dundee is located in the most westerly portion of Quebec, and the south shore of the St. Lawrence River.

Present Status

In 1981, MCA filed a Specific Claim for the return of the Tsi:karistisere/Dundee lands, with it being partially accepted in 1988. In 1995, the MCA resubmitted the Specific Claim, after the Blueberry River Indian Band v. Canada established that the Crown had a fiduciary duty to protect First Nation’s from exploitive land surrenders. Negotiations were stalled amid tensions at the US/Canada Border and Akwesasne, in the 1990’s; but in 2004 negotiations continued through 2015, covering areas such as valuation, including environmental and archaeological studies. In 2015, Canada offered the MCA a global offer of $239,808,436 for the full and final compensation of the Tsi:karistisere/Dundee lands, with the ability to purchase up to 18,282 acres of land. These lands, once purchased, would go through the Additions to Reserve (ATR) process and essentially create an entirely new district of the Akwesasne Mohawk Territory.

Settlement Terms

Compensation

Compensation in the amount of $239,808,436 to the Mohawks of Akwesasne from the Government of Canada for the full and final settlement of the Dundee Specific Claim.

Land Reserve Rights

Ability to purchase and add, through the Additions to Reserve (ATR) process, up to 18,282 acres of land as a reserve with no time limitation in acquiring these lands.

Global Settlement Offer

As a global Settlement Offer, this will effectively end any grievances of Akwesasne toward Canada with respect to the lands in Dundee and operate as a full release of Canada for those damages contemplated within the Dundee Specific Claim.

Timeline

Important Events

1762
1763
1808
1810
1876
1881
1882
1884
1889-1927
1815
1820
1831
1839
1887
1888
1971
1981
1995
1998
2004-2015

1762

British began surveying land

1763

King George III issues Royal Proclamation

1808

Surveying of individual lots on Tsi:karístisere

1810

Non-native settlers begin to make 99-year renewable lease agreements with Akwesasne settlers

1876

Indian Agent John Davidson, a Dundee resident, does not enforce lease payments to Akwesasne landowners; Akwesasne residents are charged with trespassing on leased land

1881

Land needed for timber and farming; Akwesasne landowners’ first petition to return land due to expired leases

1882

Second petition to return lands delivered to Prime Minister and and Dept. of Indian Affairs

1884

Akwesasne landowners arrested for trespassing on leased lands; Indian Agent denies their request for a lawyer

1889-1927

Akwesasne forced to buy back own land when seeking Sugar Bush Island; only 10% of lost lands are re-purchased, using proceeds from the 1888 “surrender”

1815

Lt. Isaac LeClerc is appointed new Indian Agent

1820

Solomon Chesley is appointed new Indian Agent

1831

Tsi:karístisere becomes the new Township of Dundee

1839

Non-Native settlers want clear title of Tsi:karístisere and surrender of lands

1887

Resolution passed for Akwesasne residents to begin re-occupying expired leased lands; Commission of Inquiry to address settler concerns is established

1888

Commission of Inquiry report: Canada recommends the surrender of Tsi:karístisere by Akwesasne; Invalid surrender of Tsi:karístisere lands, along with a $50,000 compensation

1971

Canada and Akwesasne come to an agreement to protect environmentally sensitive lands at Tsi:karístisere

1981

The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne files a Specific Claim for the return of Tsi:karístisere/Dundee lands.

1995

MCA resubmits Claim in wake of Blueberry River Indian Band v. Canada, which established that the Crown had a duty to protect First Nations from exploitative land surrenders

1998

Tsi:karístisere Specific Claim is partially accepted for negotiation

2004-2015

Active negotiations between MCA and Canada on all aspects of the Claim resume; land valuation, environmental and archeological studies are conducted; Akwesasne Claims Advisory Committee forms