The Canadian government will pay the siksikaa western aboriginal group Canada1.3 billion Canadian dollars (approximately 1,034 million US dollars) in compensation for the theft of their land more than a century ago.
The payment is part of an agreement signed Thursday by the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeauand the tribal chief of the Siksika, Ouray Crowfooton the traditional territory of the Aboriginal group, east of the city of Calgary.
You can also read: Canadian Indigenous Peoples Call on Queen Elizabeth II to Apologize for Abuse
The compensation agreement, which the Canadian government says is one of the most significant Ottawa has signed with an Indigenous group, will allow the Siksika to acquire up to 465 square kilometers of territorythe same amount that was taken from them in 1910.
Trudeau called the deal with Siksika historic, saying it “fixes a mistake of the past committed by the Government of Canada”.
Crowfoot spoke in similar terms, assuring that “Canada is not giving $1.3 billion to the Siksika. Canada is correct an error committed more than a century ago when he illegally seized (465 square kilometers) of land”.
In 1910, Canada almost seized the half of the territory which corresponded to the Siksika, according to a treaty signed in 1877 between the Canadian government and five Aboriginal groups.
Canada took the land, which included the best land for the agriculture and areas with high mining potential, to be sold to settlers.
For more than 60 years, the Siksika people have tried to have Canada recognize the illegality of their actions and obtain redress.
Since Trudeau came to power in 2015, the Canadian politician has said reconciliation with Indigenous peoples is one of his priorities.
But today Crowfoot, with Trudeau at his side, said Canadian officials must stop using the word reconciliation: “They will never get reconciliation. They will never be able to fix it and go back to what was before.” , Crowfoot said.
“Amateur introvert. Pop culture trailblazer. Incurable bacon aficionado.”