Compensation for Canada’s Failures Involving the 36 Acres of Gitanmaax Reserve Surrendered to Canada
Gitanmaax 1948 Surrender Specific Claim: Financial Compensation for Canada’s Failures Involving the 36 Acres of Gitanmaax Reserve Surrendered to Canada in 1948
The 1948 Surrender Specific Claim involves financial compensation for Canada’s failures to meet its legal obligations involving a 36 acre area of Gitanmaax reserve land surrendered by Gitanmaax to Canada in 1948. The settlement of the 1948 Surrender Specific Claim does not involve the transfer or surrender of any new lands.
The area surrendered by Gitanmaax in 1948 is adjacent to what Gitanmaax members frequently refer to as “Old Town”, or Hazelton. Settling the 1948 Surrender Specific Claim and obtaining financial compensation from Canada (the $6,114,000) is the first step in righting several historical wrongs involving that 36 acre area.
If the Ratification Vote is successful (that is, the majority of Voters vote “yes” to the Ballot Question) and the 1948 Surrender Specific Claim is resolved, Gitanmaax Chief and Council will begin the next step: renewing discussions with Canada for the return to Gitanmaax reserve status of the unsold lots in that 36 acre area and several other lots (including the lands for the First Nations High School and sports field, presently owned by School District 82). These discussions will be under Canada’s Additions to Reserve Policy and process, and are expected to take several years given the complexity of the issues involved. This is separate from the 1948 Surrender Specific Claim, is not part of the settlement of the 1948 Surrender Specific Claim, and is not part of the Ratification Vote.
A downloadable map appears below. It shows both the extent of the 36 acres surrendered by Gitanmaax to Canada in 1948. It also shows (coloured in green) the lands Gitanmaax will seek to be added to reserve status once the 1948 Surrender Specific Claim is resolved.