Hostname: page-component-546b4f848f-sw5dq Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-06-05T01:25:30.677Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

Economic Development through Treaty Reparations in New Zealand and Canada

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 May 2018

Myra J. Tait
Thompson Dorfman SweatmanLLP, in Winnipeg,
Kiera L. Ladner
University of Manitoba, Department of Political


In Canada, Treaty 1 First Nations brought a claim against the Crown for land debt owed to them since 1871. In 2004, Crown land in Winnipeg became available that, according to the terms of the settlement, should have been offered for purchase to Treaty 1 Nations. Similarly, in New Zealand, the Waikato-Tainui claim arose from historical Crown breaches of the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi. In 1995, a settlement was reached to address the unjust Crown confiscation of Tainui lands. Despite being intended to facilitate the return of traditional territory, compensate for Crown breaches of historic treaties, and indirectly provide opportunity for economic development, in both cases, settlement was met with legal and political challenges. Using a comparative legal analysis, this paper examines how the state continues to use its law-making power to undermine socio-economic development of Indigenous communities in Canada and New Zealand, thereby thwarting opportunity for Indigenous self-determination.


Au Canada, les Premières Nations signataires du Traité no 1 ont intenté une réclamation contre la Couronne pour la dette foncière qui leur est due depuis 1871. En 2004, les terres de la Couronne, à Winnipeg, qui auraient dû, selon les termes de l’accord, être offertes aux nations signataires du Traité no 1 sont devenues disponibles. De manière similaire, en Nouvelle-Zélande, la réclamation de Waikato-Tainui fut le résultat des violations historiques par la Couronne du Traité de Waitangi de 1840. En 1995, un accord fut conclu pour remédier à la confiscation injuste des terres de Tainui par la Couronne. Or, en dépit de l’intention de faciliter le retour des territoires traditionnels, de compenser les violations des traités historiques par la Couronne et de fournir indirectement des possibilités de développement économique, dans les deux cas précédents, les accords furent confrontés à des défis juridiques et politiques. À l’aide d’une analyse juridique comparative, cet article examine comment l’État continue d’utiliser son pouvoir législatif pour saper le développement socioéconomique des communautés autochtones au Canada et en Nouvelle-Zélande, entravant ainsi les possibilités d’autodétermination des peuples autochtones.

Copyright © Canadian Law and Society Association / Association Canadienne Droit et Société 2018 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


1 Asch, Michael, On Being Here to Stay: Treaties and Aboriginal Rights in Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014), 100–05.Google Scholar

2 Craft, Aimee, Breathing Life into the Stone Fort Treaty (Saskatoon: Purich Publishing, 2013).Google Scholar

3 Tait, Myra, “Kapyong and Treaty One First Nations: When the Crown Can Do No Wrong,” in Surviving Canada: Indigenous Peoples Celebrate 150 Years of Betrayal, ed. Ladner, Kiera L. and Tait, Myra J. (Winnipeg: ARP, 2017) 103–04.Google Scholar

4 Treaty 1 promises included, among other things, a $5 per Indian annuity, and $20 for each Chief. Following the merger of the Hudson’s Bay Company and North West Company in 1821, the “less fortunate” officers of the new company received salaries that “varied from twenty to over a hundred pounds annually,,” in Brown, Jennifer SH, Strangers in Blood: Fur Trade Company Families in Indian Country (Vancouver: UBC Press, 1980), 111.Google Scholar One can then surmise, for example, that a family of four, or a Chief alone, would receive annuities that approximated an annual base income.

5 Russell, Peter, Canada’s Odyssey: A Country Based on Incomplete Conquests (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2017) 42–53, 167210.Google Scholar Coyle, Michael, “As Long as the Sun Shines: Recognizing that the Treaties Were Intended to Last,” in The Right Relationship: Reimagining the Implementation of Historical Treaties ed. Borrows, John and Coyle, Michael (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2017), 4851.Google Scholar Canada, Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, Vol. 1 Looking Forward, Looking Back (Ottawa: Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996), 114–22, 228396.Google Scholar

6 James (sakej) Youngblood Henderson, “O Canada: A Country Cannot Be Built on a Living Lie,” in Surviving Canada, 278. Kiera L. Ladner, “Rethinking the Past, Present and Future of Aboriginal Governance,” in Reinventing Canada, ed. Janine Brodie and Linda Trimble (Toronto: Prentice Hall, 2003), 46.

7 An Act to encourage the gradual Civilization of the Indian Tribes in this Province, and to amend the Laws respecting Indians, S Prov C 1857, c 26.

8 Indian Act, RSC 1985 c I-5.

9 See for example: Manitoba Natural Resources Transfer Act, CCSM c N30; Alberta Natural Resources Act, SC 1930, c 3. NRTA transferred jurisdiction over natural resources from the Federal Crown to the Provincial Crown in the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta.

10 The Agreement is alleged to have facilitated the ‘Sixties Scoop,’ as it has come to be called, involving the government-sanctioned removal of an estimated 16,000 Aboriginal children in Ontario, between the years of 1965 and 1984. See: Brown v Attorney General 2014 ONSC 6967.

11 Russell, Canada’s Odyssey, 180–10.

12 Ibid at 180–91. Ladner, “Rethinking,” 43–60.

13 Mills, Aaron, “What is a Treaty: On Contract and Mutual Aid,” in The Right Relationship: Reimagining the Implementation of Historical Treaties, ed. Borrows, John & Coyle, Michael (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2017), 218–23.Google Scholar

14 See: Rabson, Mia, “Manitoba reserves the worst in Canada: Federal government remains silent on issue,” Winnipeg Free Press, 30 January 2015, Scholar

15 Canada, Principles Respecting the Government of Canada’s Relationship With Indigenous Peoples (2017) Scholar

16 The Constitution Act, 1982, Schedule B to the Canada Act 1982 (UK) 1982 c11.

17 Ladner, Kiera L. and McCrossan, Michael, “The Road Not Taken: 25 Years After the Reimagining of the Canadian Constitutional Order,” in Contested Constitutionalism: Reflections on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, ed. Kelly, James B. and Manfredi, Christopher P. (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2009), 263–83.Google Scholar

18 New Zealand, Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975, Schedule 1 – The Treaty of Waitangi, English Text [Treaty of Waitangi].

19 See for example, Great Britain, House of Commons Parliamentary Papers, “Report From the Select Committee on New Zealand together with the Minutes of Evidence,” 1840, at 55–60. Orange, Claudia, The Treaty of Waitangi (Wellington: Allen & Unwin, 1987), 2131.Google Scholar Palmer, Mathew, The Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand’s Law and Constitution (Wellington: Victoria University Press, 2008), 3641.Google Scholar Anderson, Atholl, Binney, Judith, and Harris, Aroha, Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History (Auckland: Bridget Williams Books, 2014), 209–11.Google Scholar

20 Minister for Culture and Heritage, “Political and constitutional timeline,” 13 November 2013, New Zealand History online, http://www/nzhistory/net/nz. M.P.K. Sorrenson “The Settlement of New Zealand from 1835,” in Indigenous Peoples’ Rights: Australia, Canada & New Zealand, ed. Paul Havemann (Auckland: Oxford University Press, 1999), 165.

21 Anderson et al., Tangata Whenua, 220–27. Mason Drurie, “Tino Rangatiratanga,” in Waitangi Revisited, ed. Michael Belgrave, Merata Kawharu, and David Williams (Sydney: Oxford University Press), 3–18.

22 Orange, The Treaty of Waitangi, 93–113.

23 Wi Parata v Bishop of Wellington [1877] 3NZ Jur (NS) 72 (SC) at 2 [Prendergast decision]. Orange, The Treaty of Waitangi, 93–113.

24 Wi Parata v Bishop of Wellington at 5.

25 Ibid at 7.

26 Fleras, Augie and Spoonley, Tom, Recalling Aotearoa: Indigenous Politics and Ethnic Relations in New Zealand (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1999), 15.Google Scholar Pryor, Judith, Constitutions: Writing Nations, Reading Difference (Birkbeck Law Press, 2008), 94.Google Scholar

27 Anderson et al., Tangata Whenua, 419–25, 444–47. Jacinta Ruru, “A Treaty in Another Context: Creating Reimagined Treaty Relationships in Aotearoa New Zealand,” in The Right Relationship: Reimagining the Implementation of Historical Treaties, ed. John Borrows and Michael Coyle (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2017), 305–13.

28 New Zealand, New Zealand Māori Council v Attorney-General [1989] NZCA 43, Judgment of Cooke at 6 [Lands Case]. While the Court of Appeal reached a unanimous decision, each member set out individual reasons.

29 Treaty of Waitangi Amendment Act 1985 (1985 No 148).

30 The Education Amendment Act 1990 and the NZ Railways Corporation Restructuring Act 1990 are examples of exceptions, whereby the Tribunal is empowered to make binding recommendations regarding the return of certain education lands in the first instance, and railway lands in the second instance, to Māori.

31 Treaty of Waitangi s 3.

32 Treaty of Waitangi s 5(2).

33 Drurie, Mason, Te Mana Te Kawanatana: The Politics of Maori Self-Determination (Sydney: Oxford University Press, 1998), 115–40, 218–26.Google Scholar Jones, Carwyn, “From Whitehall to Waikato: Kingitanga and the Interaction of Indigenous and Settler Constitutionalism,” in After the Treaty: The Settler State, Race Relations & the Exercise of Power in Colonial New Zealand, ed. Hill, R.S., Patterson, Brad and Patterson, Kathryn (Wellington: Steele Roberts, 2016).Google Scholar Ruru, “A Treaty in Another Context,” 305–24.

34 New Zealand, State-Owned Enterprises Act 1986 (NZ), 1986/124.

35 Lands Case, Judgment of Cooke, 4.

36 Ibid. Graham Stanley Latimer, “suing on behalf of himself and all persons entitled to the protection of Article II of the Treaty of Waitangi,” is also as a party to the action. Also see judge’s discussion of applicant at 2. An English translation of the Māori version reads: “The Queen of England agrees to protect the chiefs, the subtribes and all the people of New Zealand in the unqualified exercise of their chieftainship over their lands, villages and all their treasures. But on the other hand the chiefs of the Confederation and all the chiefs will sell land to the Queen at a price agreed to by the person owning it and by the person buying it (the latter being) appointed by the Queen as her purchase agent.” (Source: Te Ara—The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, “The three articles of the Treaty of Waitangi.”

37 New Zealand, New Zealand Māori Council & Latimer v Attorney-General [1987] NZHC 78 at 14 [Latimer].

38 Lands Case, Judgment of Cooke, 18.

39 Ibid, Judgment of Cooke, 39.

40 Havemann, Paul, “What’s in the Treaty?: Constitutionalizing Maori Rights in Aotearoa/New Zealand 1975–1993,” in Legal Pluralism and the Colonial Legacy, ed. Hazlehurst, Kathleen (Sydney: Ashgate, 1995), 9197.Google Scholar

41 Lands Case, Judgment of Cooke, 34–35.

42 Ibid, Judgment of Bisson, 19.

43 Lands Case, Judgment of Cooke, 3.

44 Ibid Judgment of Cooke, 44.

45 Ibid Judgment of Cooke, 47.

46 Canada, Manitoba & Treaty Land Entitlement Committee of Manitoba, Treaty Land Entitlement Framework Agreement, (29 May 1997) Scholar

47 Manitoba: Speech from the Throne, 1st Sess, 39th Leg Ass, 6 June 2007 (John Harvard).

48 Ibid.

49 Government of Manitoba, “News Release: Province Makes Good Progress on Meeting Treaty Land Entitlement Obligations: Robinson,” 30 June 2011, online Scholar

50 Treaty Land Entitlement Committee of Manitoba Inc., “TLE Land Conversion Update 2016,” (2017). Scholar

51 Welch, Mary Agnes, “After Supreme Court ruling: a clash of claims between Métis, First Nations,” Winnipeg Free Press, 14 February 2015. Scholar

52 Treaty Land Entitlement Committee of Manitoba Inc., “Update,” “Manitoba’s new Premier non-committal on Treaty Land Entitlement Challenge,” (Spring 2016).

53 Brokenhead First Nations v Canada, 2009 FC 982, 2.

54 New Zealand, Waikato Raupatu Claims Settlement Act 1995, 1995 No 58 (RS) [Waikato Settlement Act 1995].

55 See the Manukau Report (Wai 8), 17.

56 Ibid at Preamble section N (English text), quoting NZ Court of Appeal decision: RT Mahuta and Tainui Maori Trust Board v Attorney-General [1989] 2 NZLR 513.

57 Hill, Richard S., State Authority, Indigenous Autonomy Crown-Maori Relations in New Zealand/Aotearoa 1900–1950 (Wellington: Victoria University Press, 2004), 136 (emphasis in the original).Google Scholar

58 Waikato Settlement Act 1995, Preamble (M).

59 Ibid at Preamble (R).

60 Her Majesty the Queen in right of New Zealand and Waikato – Deed of Settlement, 22 May 1995, s 3.4.

61 Ibid, s 3.5.

62 Ibid, s 16(1)(b).

63 In 2006, Peguis First Nation signed a Treaty Entitlement Agreement with Canada, which is similar to, but not part of, the TLE Framework agreement.

64 Ircha, Michael C. and Young, Robert, ed., Federal Property Policy in Canadian Municipalities (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2013), 19.Google Scholar

65 Canada has only recognized five claimants, all of whom have outstanding TLE claims: Long Plain FN, Swan Lake FN, Roseau River Anishinabe FN, Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, and under a separate agreement, Peguis FN. On 7 October 2011, Brokenhead FN filed a notice of discontinuance, and is no longer a party to the joint Application.

66 Brokenhead First Nation v Canada, 2009 FC 982, 38.

67 Ibid, 37.

68 Ibid, 28.

69 HMTQ v Brokenhead, 2011 FCA 148, 34.

70 Ibid, 50.

71 Ibid, 38.

72 Ibid, 40.

73 Ibid, 48.

74 Ibid, 51.

75 Long Plain First Nation v HJTQ, 2012 FC 1474 at 80.

76 Ibid, 66.

77 Ibid, 78.

78 Ibid, 69.

79 Ibid, 4.

80 Long Plain First Nation v HMTQ, 2013 FC 86, 7.

81 Brokenhead First Nation v Canada, 2009 FC 982, 38.

82 New Zealand, Her Majesty the Queen in right of New Zealand and Waikato-Tainui, Deed of Settlement, 22 May 1995, “Apology by Crown,” s 3.6.

84 Latimer, 88.

85 New Zealand, Waikato Tainui Te Kauhanganui Inc v Hamilton City Council CIV 2009-419-1712 (3 June 2010) [Waikato Tainui v Hamilton] at 8.

86 The New Zealand Resource Management Act 1991 No 69 (RMA) requires all city councils to oversee development in accordance with a District Plan, pursuant to section 73 of the RMA.

87 Waikato-Tainui v Hamilton, 14.

88 Statement of Evidence of Harold Francis Bhana, submission by Tainui Group Holding Ltd on the Proposed Waikato Regional Policy Statement 2010. at 9.2.

89 Waikato Tainui v Hamilton, 14.

90 Ibid, 16.

91 See: Hamilton City Council—Te kaunihera o Kirikiriroa, “Variation 21: Hamilton Central Business District – Strategic Alignment with Future Proof and Hamilton Urban Growth Strategy,” 2013.

92 Waikato Tainui v Hamilton, 16.

93 Ibid, 17–18.

94 Ibid, 23.

95 Ibid, 25.

96 See RMA, Schedule 1 s 3.

97 Waikato Tainui v Hamilton, 71.

98 Ibid.

99 Ibid, 88.

100 Ibid, 90.

101 Ibid, 95.

102 Ibid, 103.

103 Borrows, John, “Canada’s Colonial Constitution,” in The Right Relationship, 21–22. Heidi Stark, “Respect, Responsibility & Renewal: The Foundations of Anishnaabe Treaty Making with the United States and Canada,” American Indian Culture and Research Journal 34, no. 2 (2010): 147–52.Google Scholar

104 Williams, Joe, “Back to the Future: Maori Survival in the 1990s,” in Te Ao Marama: Regaining Aotearoa, ed. Ihimaera, W. (Auckland: Reed Books, 1993), cited in: Havemann, “What’s in the Treaty?” 74.Google Scholar

105 Ray, Arthur J., Miller, Jim, and Tough, Frank, Bounty and Benevolence: A History of Saskatchewan Treaties (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2000), 67.Google Scholar

106 Craft, Breathing Life, 17.

107 Ibid 17.

108 Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples Vol. 1 94–176; Indian Claims Commission, Vol. 14, (2001), Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation Inquiry Medical Aid Claim; Craft, Breathing Life; Ray et al., Bounty and Benevolence; Tait, “Kapyong and Treaty One First Nation”; Asch, On Being Here to Stay; Stark, “Respect, Responsibility and Renewal,” 145–64.

109 Indian Claims Commission, 22.

110 Ibid.

111 Stark, “Respect, Responsibility and Renewal,” 156–57.

112 Donald Fixico, Indian Resilience and Rebuilding: Indigenous Nations in the Modern American West (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2013).

113 Department of Indian Affairs, Annual Report 1871, Lieutenant-Governor Archibald to Secretary of State Howe, July 19, 1871, at p 15, quoted in Wayne E. Daugherty, Treaty Research Report: Treaty One and Treaty Two (1871), (Canada: Treaties and Historical Research Centre Research Branch, Corporate Policy, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, 1983), 7–9,

114 Fixico, Indian Resilience, 15–45.

115 Indian Claims Commission, 31–32.

116 Treaty 7 Elders and Tribal Council with Walter Hildebrandt, Dorothy First Rider, and Sarah Carter, Treaty 7: The True Spirit and Original Intent of Treaty Seven (Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 1996), 219–23.

117 Tait, Myra, “Examining the Provisions of Section 87 of the Indian Act as a means to Promote Economic Participation and Treaty Implementation” (LLM Thesis, University of Manitoba, 2017).Google Scholar

118 Craft, Breathing Life, ch. 2, 5, and 6; Asch, On Being Here to Stay, 73–81, 92–99; Stark, “Respect, Responsibility and Renewal.”

119 Donald Marshall Jr.’s wrongful conviction settlement brought an initial surge of investment into the community in 1990. This was followed in 2000 with the so-called ‘Marshall monies,’ which Mi’kmaw communities received as compensation from the Federal Government, following the Supreme Court’s decision in Marshall, which found the government in breach of its treaty obligations under a 1725 treaty.

120 Membertou Corporate Division.

121 See: Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, “Business,” 2013. www.muskeglake/business/.Google Scholar

122 Western Economic Diversification Canada, Urban Reserves in Saskatchewan. (Western Economic Diversification, 2005), 11.Google Scholar Quoted in Peters, Evelyn J., “Urban Reserves,” Research paper for the National Centre for First Nations Governance 2007. Scholar

123 Ibid.

124 Sully, Lorne and Eamons, Mark, “Urban Reserves: The City of Saskatoon’s Partnership with First Nations,.” Presentation to the Pacific Business and Law Institute Conference, Calgary, 22 April (City of Saskatoon: Planning Department, 2004);Google Scholar Peters, Evelyn J., “Urban Reserves,” research paper for the National Centre for First Nations Governance (2007). Scholar See also: City of Saskatoon, “City of Saskatoon Urban Reserves: Frequently Asked Questions” (2016). Scholar

125 Rabson, Mia, “Millions spent maintaining empty Kapyong Barracks during lengthy dispute,” Winnipeg Free Press, 10 January 2013. Scholar

126 Walsh, Mary Agnes, “Kapyong is a Symbol of Sabotage,” Winnipeg Free Press, 2 January 2015. Scholar

127 CBC News, “Feds want to tear down Kapyong after millions spent maintaining abandoned barracks: Tuxedo homeowners notified over demolition plans of Winnipeg base,” 17 November 2017. kapyong-barracks-feds-government-tear-down-1.3854930.

128 Russell, Peter, Recognizing Aboriginal Title: The Mabo Case and Indigenous Resistance to English-Settler Colonialism (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005), 31.Google Scholar

129 McHugh, Paul, “Sovereignty this Century – Maori and the Common Law Constitution,” Victoria University of Wellington Law Review 16 (2000): 31.Google Scholar

130 Asch, On Being Here to Stay, 99.

131 Young, Audrey, The New Zealand Herald, “Key: Little’s Waitangi comments push ‘separatism’ (audio).; 9 February 2015.Google Scholar

132 Asch, On Being Here to Stay, 94.

133 Williams, “Back to the Future,” 85.

134 Edwards v Canada (Attorney General) [1930] AC 123, 1 DLR 98 (PC).

135 Borrows, John, Freedom and Indigenous Constitutionalism (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016), 128–59.Google Scholar

136 Land’s Case, Judgment of Cooke at 14–15.

137 Ibid, 35.

138 Russell, Mabo Case, 31.

139 Asch, On Being Here to Stay, 99.