Province wants wind development included in First Nation Treaty

by Michael Erskine   Manitoulin Expositor
A further wrinkle, said Chief Shining Turtle, was the sudden inclusion of of wind farms as a First Nation concern in the agreement by the provincial negotiators. “I don’t know where that is coming from,” said the chief. “It certainly isn’t us. We have never brought it up at the negotiating table. The windmills have nothing to do with this agreement as far as we are concerned.”
MANITOULIN—Hailed an historic tri-partite treaty agreement, the first of its kind in Canadian history, the 1990 Manitoulin Land Agreement was touted as laying to rest a wide range of outstanding land claim issues, at least one of which the Ontario government was on the cusp of losing before the Supreme Court. Signed by most of the chiefs of Manitoulin (Wikwemikong being the notable exception), the agreement covered three islands, as well as Manitoulin road and shoreline allowances.

It has taken the province and First Nation negotiators over 10 years to work out the details of an implementation agreement for the treaty, with both sides blaming the other for the delays.

Now, with the end tantalizingly in sight, another snag has landed in the ointment.

“We are about 99.9 percent done,” said UCCM Tribal Chief Shining Turtle (Franklin Paibomsai), who is also the chief of Whitefish River First Nation. “Then the province drops a bombshell on us.”

The provincial negotiators came to the chiefs with a document to sign, essentially giving up all claim to any land on Manitoulin. “That was not what the agreement was about,” said Chief Shining Turtle. “The deal was for the shoreline allowances, the road allowances and three islands. Now they say it covers everything.”

“They are coming back on us with something new here,” said Anishinaabek Nation Grand Chief Patrick Madahbee, one of the original signatories of the 1990 Manitoulin Land Agreement, who said he was asked to consult on the matter with the current chiefs. “I have been consulted for my corporate memory on this, and I can tell you that was not what was agreed upon.”

A further wrinkle, said Chief Shining Turtle, was the sudden inclusion of of wind farms as a First Nation concern in the agreement by the provincial negotiators. “I don’t know where that is coming from,” said the chief. “It certainly isn’t us. We have never brought it up at the negotiating table. The windmills have nothing to do with this agreement as far as we are concerned.”

Chief Shining Turtle said that he was frustrated by the reaction from the provincial negotiators. “They keep telling us that we are changing the game, that it is like trying to work with an amoeba, but we have not changed our position one iota,” he said. “They seem to have got it in their heads that we are changing things. I told them to show me where in the document our chiefs signed it says we are giving up any claim over the entire Island.”

The current chiefs were concerned that they might be held to the details of the agreement without signing off—but those fears were laid to rest. “We asked our counsel if they could just push this thing through without our signature,” said Chief Shining Turtle. “We were assured that there was no way.”

The devil is often in the details, and in this case the details appear to be particularly devilish, with the province believing that the implementation agreement would lay to rest any further land claim issues on Manitoulin Island, and the First Nations adamant that they have not signed a blanket agreement and do not intend to do so through the offices of an implementation agreement.

Chief Paibomsai said that he remains confident that the matter will soon be resolved. “It’s close,” he said. “We are very, very close on just about everything.”

7 thoughts on “Province wants wind development included in First Nation Treaty

  1. Beware Chief Shining Turtle. Beware Chief Paibomsai,

    They have tried to sneak in an Industrial Wind Turbine clause so as to industrialize your land. If your agree to this madness YOUR land will be encumbered for a renewable lease over the next 20 to 50 years! This means that life in the rural area that you call home will be changed for evermore. Your wildlife will flee. Your people will subjected to an industrial experiment that has not had an independent review or study. Many people around the world have had to leave their home due to the ill health effects of the industrial noise and inaudible noise damage to the soft tissue in their bodies. They have lied to their own people, they have denied that there are any health concerns.

    They will not listen to their own people who have had no recourse but to leave their land. The equity in their homes has been stolen as no one will buy their house. They have facilitated the wind industry so that they can appear to be kind to the earth and get votes from the foolish ones but this is not kind to the earth. It is an assault on the earth as the wind turbines cause more fuels to be wasted. Remember they have lied to you in the past and they are lying now. They only are nice to you when they want something. Make no mistake. They want your land encumbered so that they can make lots of $ from your lands , pay you very little and not reduce emissions to help the earth.
    We will stand with you this time.

    They have betrayed all of us in our rural lands so we will join you and help you. Will you join us ? Will you help us?

  2. Chief Shinning Turtle.. play the game with them.. they want you out of there way.. of course they want this signed so they can put the windmills up.. read what Rick Martin has on the the other page.. Dont let Manitoulin Island fall into there trap.. YOU can save it just like you did the HST, be the HERO on this one as well..Please!

  3. The devil is always in the details. If they can tack on that Industrial Wind Turbines are mandatory, they will make sure they get a wack load of them.
    Why win land back to have them develop all around you?

  4. I believe we can safely say that the First Nations know only too well what a Politician has in mind during negotiations when LAND is involved. The First Nations ARE what we WILL BE after this is Government is finished with us!

    Lessons from the Past are Guidelines for the future!

    Let’s mobilize and Take Back our Towns!…….run for Municipal Office!

  5. My husband is running for Mayor of Severn, that means he gets to sit on council for Simcoe North. He is not well known in Clearview at our farm but he is a sure bet in Severn.

  6. Melodie your first response was right on target. It amazes me what the governments are trying to do!

  7. The times I’ve visited the Wiki on Manitoulin Island, I know they are a vocal people.
    I agree with Melodie,
    The Provincial government has “betrayed all of us in our rural lands so we will join you and help you. Will you join us ? Will you help us?”
    Let us know how we can help you fight the Province to prevent more Industrial Wind Turbines from harvesting the birds from the sky and the peace of mind of the people below.

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