OKT has many years of experience assisting in the negotiation of modern treaties, as well as in providing advice on the wide range of issues arise once a final treaty is signed.
OKT has assisted the Innu of Labrador in negotiating a comprehensive land claim that led to the conclusion of an Agreement-in-Principle (“AIP”) in November 2011. Their AIP includes 5000 square miles of lands to be owned by the Innu over which they will have numerous rights to govern their land and resources. It also includes a Settlement Area with co-management regimes that includes 9000 additional square miles plus a large National Park reserve. In addition, the AIP includes rights in other areas (called Economic Development Areas) to require proponents to conclude Impact Benefit Agreements (“IBAs”) for major developments in many other resource-rich parts of Labrador, including in western Labrador with its rich deposits of iron ore.
The AIP also includes rights to harvest fish, wildlife and migratory birds in the Settlement Area, ownership of forest resources on their lands, archaeological and cultural resource protections, environmental assessment powers, etc. Negotiations for a Final Agreement are presently underway and OKT is assisting in these negotiations as well.
The areas negotiated through the AIP have provided the Innu Nation with the ability to govern their land and resources and require proponents to conclude IBAs for major developments in other resource-rich parts of Labrador. OKT has worked with the Innu Nation for the conclusion of a number of IBAs and other agreements to compensate for the effects of these developments on their rights.
The revenue from these agreements has been and will continue to be very significant. These agreements also include significant priority business and employment opportunities as well as meaningful cultural and environmental protection provisions.
OKT is actively involved in treaty implementation issues with clients in the Northwest Territories and northern Manitoba.