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HomeNewsCurve Lake First Nation Council planning highly confidential meetings with "no media...

Curve Lake First Nation Council planning highly confidential meetings with “no media permitted”

An internal document obtained by Kawartha 411 shows the Curve Lake First Nation Council is planning a meeting to discuss the Williams Treaties Negotiations and Flooding of Reserve Lands and they don’t want any media present.

The document, dated April 18th, 2017 from Chief Phyllis Williams and addressed to Curve Lake members specifically states “Because of the highly confidential nature of this meeting, there will be no media permitted” And it’s from the Chief and Council. The meeting is scheduled for May 31, 2017.

There are seven First Nations involved in the treaties: Alderville First Nation, Beausoleil First Nation, Chippewas of Georgina Island, Chippewas of Rama, Curve Lake First Nation, Hiawatha First Nation and Mississaugas of Scugog Island.

The group of seven signed various 18th and 19th century treaties that covered lands in different parts of south central Ontario the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation says. After these pre-Confederation treaties were signed, the First Nations maintained that they continued to have an interest in other lands in central Ontario, known as their northern hunting grounds according to the Ministry. These lands had not yet been addressed through treaty and were increasingly being subject to encroachment. To address these outstanding issues, the Williams Treaties were signed between the seven First Nations and the Crown in 1923.

More than 90 years later, questions remain about the making, terms, interpretation and implementation of the Williams Treaties. In 1992, the seven First Nations filed litigation to seek a resolution of this longstanding dispute. The case, known as the Alderville litigation and went to trial in 2012.

The Ministry says The First Nations allege that the Crown breached its duties to them in the making and implementation of the Williams Treaties. In particular, the First Nations allege that they were not fairly compensated for their lands and should have received additional reserve lands at the time of treaty.

Harvesting rights are another key issue raised in the Alderville litigation. The First Nations maintain that the pre-Confederation treaties they signed with the Crown protected harvesting rights and that those rights were not affected by the Williams Treaties and continue to exist according to the government.

In February 2017, the parties agreed to a process to begin formal negotiations toward a negotiated settlement of the Alderville litigation and the court case was adjourned on March 27, 2017 on joint consent of the parties.

Pre-existing treaty harvesting rights of the Williams Treaties First Nations’ members to hunt, trap, fish and gather for food, social and ceremonial purposes in certain areas of pre-Confederation Treaties have been recognized by the Province and Canada. These treaty harvesting rights are constitutionally protected.

The flooding of reserve lands happened in the 1800’s.

In October 2012 the federal government approved a $71-million settlement for three area First Nation communities compensating them for lands flooded during the construction of the Trent-Severn Waterway. The money was to be divided between Curve Lake, Hiawatha, and Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nations.

It’s unclear why Curve Lake members will be discussing the Flooding after they have already received payment from the government.

We reached out to Chief Phyllis Williams about why this meeting was classified as  “highly confidential” and why “there will be no media permitted” and received a terse “No Comment”







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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.


  1. Please tell me what Treaty has ever been honoured by the federal government?? and why should press be allowed into Community meetings in regards to Treaty Talks or negotiations???
    Chief Phyllis Williams has every right to privacy in speaking to her community on this issue… can you honestly say to yourself and can any other Canadian ever feel and say that they have treated us as EQUAL and treated us fairly??? we own less than what??? 5 % (if that) of the whole land base of Turtle Island …our sovereign Land….we are governed UNDER the racist archaic INDIAN ACT that devalues and dehumanizes our identity, our claim to land ..everything….when our ancestors signed treaty they did not say” take everything and leave our people in third world conditions”…Im sure the intent was not to leave our people in squalor , with no drinking water in 90 % of our communities…..oh but wait your press….you have been spreading images in media for 500 years that is eurocentric, and biased….WE HAVE ALL THE ADVANTAGES ….first to be subjected to germ warfare, small pox blankets and malnourished of our children in residential schools, lets talk about that….50 % mortality rate in the schools , and the ones that survived, million of pages of documents of horrific abuse….and this is not history , this continues today…..in CAS apprehension of Native children, In third party management of every dime spent in community with no social or financial barometer of the “boondoggle” they call senate or INAC. , Over 4000 Indigenous Women Missing Murdered and Taken in this country… We are the most audited and financially controlled race of people in this country…yet PRESS sells the image of hands out… lazy , plagues and drain on taxpayers money….the oppressor telling the public to oppress the oppressed. Its time for Canadians and PRESS and so called journalists to do their homework..given the history, and its all layed out for you in the Truth and Reconciliation recommendations, how many of you have read them, even one, ??? we as NATIVE PEOPLE have nothing to reconcile, WE DID NOTHING WRONG!!!!! CANADIANS HAVE TO DO ALOT BETTER.. CANADA 150 PFHHHT!!!!!!!! millions being spent on honouring 150 years of assimilation and extermination tactics….the question in the headline should read, WHAT CAN WE DO BETTER …WE ARE ALL TREATY PEOPLE !!! not “why cant we allow press in to give the eurocentric spin on something of which they do not have the knowledge and understanding to speak of with any wisdom”

    • In response to my sister Suzanne with respect.
      Kawartha 411 was simply putting out the story in which they have every right to do as well, and it is the “big” news corporations that are controlled by the government and those corporations only publish what the government wants the mass populace to believe not these smaller independent news sources. Pamela of Kawartha 411 has in fact always treated me and anyone I know fairly including her documenting on the Standing Rock issue and the journey that I myself took to to the front lines of the Standing Rock protest with 2 members of Curve Lake First Nation. She in fact kept in touch with me during our journey and published exactly what information that I gave to her along the way and exactly the way I told it which to me, telling it the way it is, is good journalism. She told the story from the protesters view not the corrupt Sheriff’s or the pipeline’s point of view.
      I haven’t heard of any other local band members from the Williams Treaty Bands that went to Standing Rock and spent time there with all of the camps within camps there and that took truck loads of supplies to the protesters there and stood on the front lines with them as well and got to know many of them very personally. We were also asked to proudly hang our flags that were given to us from Alderville, Curve Lake and Hiawatha First Nations at the protest site to represent our communities.
      This to me was a great honour.
      We sat with them at the sacred fire where we were asked to introduce ourselves and explain where we came from and why we were there and we were accepted as family. Again, another great honour.
      As you know, I obviously fully support our negotiations for treaties involving our people but I also learned not to judge all people by the actions of others and this includes the media. I understand where you’re coming from when it comes to certain media but to go off on a rant to Kawartha 411 media and place them in the same category as all the isn’t really fair.
      If Chief Phyllis Williams doesn’t want the media at the meetings then that is her choice plain and simple and she obviously put that out there for the media to know and they have every right to publish her decision on that right?
      I don’t think that Pamela or Kawartha 411 did anything wrong by putting this story out there, as it is a news story.
      I also never forget where I come, I stay humble and look at both sides to every story exactly for this reason.
      I am proud of my native heritage and I’ll fight for it 100% also knowing that “I / we” have 50% native blood in me from our father and 50% French blood in us from our mother.

      Judd Smoke-Alderville First Nation

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