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.