Gowling WLG advises on landmark Resource Revenue Sharing agreement between Province of Ontario, Treaty #3 First Nations and the Government of the Anishinaabe Nation in Treaty #3

09 May 2018

On May 3, 2018, Grand Council of Treaty #3 (GCT#3) announced that the GCT#3, Treaty #3 First Nations and the Province of Ontario have entered into a landmark resource revenue sharing agreement in respect of forestry and mining activities in Treaty #3 Territory. This marks the first agreement of its kind in Ontario.

Ogichidaa (Grand Chief) Francis Kavanaugh stated, "The Agreement with Ontario is the operationalization of our Great Earth Law - Manito Aki Inakonigaawin. Resource revenue sharing provides economic independence for the Anishinaabe Nation in Treaty #3, while acknowledging our sovereignty, and relationship with our natural resources."

Gowling WLG is honoured to have acted for Grand Council Treaty #3, and we would like to congratulate Ontario, Treaty #3 First Nations and GCT#3 for entering into this historic deal.

"While resource revenue agreements have become relatively commonplace in British Columbia over the last decade, and have been important features of modern treaties, this was truly unprecedented in Ontario, requiring many months of careful negotiation," said Max Faille, leader of Gowling WLG's Indigenous Law Group. "We're delighted to see this matter come to a successful close — one that will allow First Nations communities to share in the wealth generated from resource development in Treaty #3 Territory, for generations to come."

Under the agreement, Ontario has agreed to share 45 per cent of annual forestry stumpage revenue, 40 per cent of the annual mining tax and royalties from active mines, and 45 per cent from future mines.

"This Agreement sets a high-water mark in the context of resource revenue sharing and the numbered Treaties," said Kennedy A. Bear Robe, counsel to Grand Council Treaty #3. "It reflects Indigenous signatories' interpretation that Treaties codified the peaceful cohabitation and shared use of the land, waters and resources, as opposed to being an instrument of surrender and extinguishment of rights."

"These agreements are a historic moment for the province of Ontario," said Nathalie Des Rosiers, Ontario's Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, in a press release. "Resource revenue sharing represents the commitment Ontario has to reconciliation and will support economic development opportunities to build healthy and prosperous communities across Ontario's north."

Gowling WLG's Indigenous Law Group has served as counsel to Canada's First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples for more than half a century. In that time, the firm has been instrumental in precedent-setting resource development projects, self-government agreements and Supreme Court cases. Learn more about our indigenous law services.

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