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The territory identified in the context of the Tobique First Nation Land Claim and the alleged Surrender of 1892 is located in New Brunswick’s Saint John River Valley southeast where the Saint John and the Tobique Rivers meet. The Tobique First Nation Reserve was created in 1801 following a petition by Band Members. After several land surveys the 1854 survey identified the Tobique Lands as having a surface of 18,394 acres from the original allocation of 20,000 acres (+ / -)
Early in its history, the community faced many challenges with the presence of squatters and the cutting of timber situated on its territory. The Tobique First Nation expressed its frustration on these matters by issuing several petitions as early as 1810. To deal with the many petitions and problems, the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick passed the 1844 Act – An Act to regulate the management and disposal of the Indian Reserves in this province - . Between 1854 and 1868 several lots which were initially part of the reserve were granted or sold by provisions of this Act.
After Confederation, squatters and timber cutting continued to take place and remained a major concern for the Tobique First Nation band members as demonstrated by petitions presented in 1868 and 1881. The BNA Act of 1867 sec. 91 (24) gave Canada (Federal Government) the jurisdiction over Indians and Lands Reserved for the Indians and yet, Tobique First Nation reserve lands continued to be sold and patented with the opening of the New Brunswick Indian Sales Book in 1873.
In 1890 the government of New Brunswick continued taking large parts of the Tobique Reserve for settlement by non-members. To justify and achieve this goal, an inappropriate surrender of the Reserve Lands was conducted in 1892. However in this particular case, the process never obtained approval by an Order in Council – a necessary step in the surrender of Indian land. This alleged surrender concerned the part of the reserve “south of the Tobique River saving and excepting a tract of 200 acres on the southern side designated as an Indian Meadow”. The territory was then almost entirely sold and patented to private individuals in the following decades, except for 169 acres returned to the Tobique First Nation in 1965.
Pursuant to the Specific Claims Policy, Canada accepted for negotiation the Tobique First Nation’s Land Claim on May 23rd, 2008 under the Specific Policy.
By way of Band Council Resolution dated__________2008, Tobique Chief and Council accepted Canada’s offer to negotiate.
Under the Specific Claim Policy, the First Nation is entitled to be compensated for the Current Unimproved Market Value of the Claim Lands and Compensation for Loss of Use, the reasonable and probable Loss of Use that occurred because of the breach, from July 1st, 1867 to 2009.