It has become a habit of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to acknowledge that he is on “unceded” Algonquin territory whenever he delivers a speech in Quebec and Ontario. This has also become a tradition for some of his cabinet ministers. This is seen as an acknowledgment by the Canadian government that it’s looking into the atrocities that have been done to the local indigenous people. It’s also a sign that righting the wrongs is now becoming an issue for his government. Most of these atrocities involve land cases where the aboriginals maintain that their land was taken unjustly and forcefully from them. Since Justin Trudeau became the prime minister, he has struggled with the issue. This has resulted in critics saying that his efforts in addressing the issues have bogged down. One thing that has remained apparent on both sides is that it’s necessary to resolve the issue sooner or later. University of Saskatchewan professor Ken Coates admits that the process of resolving the land dispute should be the basis of the reconciliation process. He asks if they don’t get the situation right this time, when will they find an amicable solution. At the moment, one of the biggest bone of contention between the indigenous Canadians and the federal and provincial government is the issue surrounding land. This also involves large tracts of lands.
Most of these claims involve hundreds of millions of dollars. At the same time, it has been revealed that these tribes want to control the land use. This involves determining issues related to mining, oil exploration as well as logging. For instance, the Times discovered that one claim by an Algonquin group involves approximately 9 million acres of land. This land consists of an Ottawa watershed that consists of the Supreme Court and the Parliament buildings in the region. The claim has ended in litigation despite a report by the government that it settled the issue one year ago. The Times also reported that some of these claims could be quite thorny. This is where geologists, geographers, archaeologists, and historians have to be called to testify. Some of the cases are difficult to prove as they go back to times when there are no records to back the claims. The other problem is based on treaties. Close to 140 indigenous groups argue that they didn’t sign treaties relinquishing their lands. However, the Canadian government has said that it’s looking into the issue.