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OKT congratulates the Labrador Innu on the signing on November 18, 2011 of the historic package of agreements that comprise a package referred to as the Tshash Petapen (or “New Dawn”) Agreement.  John Olthuis, a partner at OKT who was also present at the signing of the historic agreement, noted, « I am deeply honoured to have worked with the Innu of Labrador for 28 yrs (the last 15 hand in hand with my partner Nancy Kleer) to achieve these reconciling agreements that will ensure self determination for this and many future generations of Innu. »

The package of 3 agreements that comprise the Tshash Petapen / New Dawn Agreement sets the stage to conclude a modern land claims and self government agreement in 2 years, settles past hydro development grievances against the Province and Nalcor Energy, and contains hydro development benefits for the Labrador Innu. The package of agreements includes an Innu Land Claim and Self-Government Agreement-in-Principle, the Upper Churchill Redress Agreement and the Lower Churchill Innu Impacts and Benefits Agreement.

The 2,400 members of the Innu Nation live in two communities in Labrador: Sheshatshiu and Natuashish. The Innu of Labrador have been working towards settlement of their land claims since 1977.

The Agreement-in-Principle sets the stage for a Final Agreement which will include guarantees of:

  • Innu title to 5,000 square miles of land in Labrador
  • Innu hunting, trapping and fishing rights to an additional 22,000 square miles in Labrador
  • Innu rights to resource revenues and other resource-development benefits in large parts of Labrador

The Upper Churchill Redress Agreement and the Lower Churchill Innu Impacts and Benefits Agreement will provide:

  • Compensation to the Innu (worth about $100 million over 30 years) for the flooding of hunting grounds that occurred when the Upper Churchill hydroelectric project was built in the 1960s
  • Innu rights to a 3% share of the future Upper Churchill project revenues when Newfoundland and Labrador’s contract with Quebec expires in 2041
  • Innu rights to 5 million dollars a year ( indexed ) during construction and during operation 5% of the cash flow from the Muskrat Falls hydro project (a $6.2-billion project which will export 825 megawatts of power to Newfoundland and Nova Scotia) and the larger Gull Island hydro project when it proceeds
  • Training, employment and business opportunities and a role in environmental permitting for these hydro projects.

By John Olthuis

For further information, see these news stories:

A New Dawn for the Labrador Innu (St. John’s Telegram)


Labrador Innu Land Deal Sets Stage for Hydro Plan (CBC)


Money Presents New Challenges For Innu Nation (NTV)


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