In 2018, first nations De Williams contracts, in collaboration with the governments of Ontario and Canada, reached a final agreement to resolve the dispute. Terms include financial compensation ($666 million from Canada and $444 million from Ontario), recognition of contracts that obtain harvesting rights, and the ability of each First Nation to add 4,452 ha to its reserve. In addition, the governments of Ontario and Canada earlier apologized for De Williams` contracts with First Nations. “I have been part of the process and negotiations for over a decade. We entered the circle. My grandfather, Norman Marsden, was one of the signatories to the Williams contracts, and it is a good thing for me to be able to sign my name as the current chief of the Alderville First Nation, because it represents how far I have come. These settlements will benefit Williams First Nations today and our future generations. Hutchins Legal represented the seven First Nations in their lawsuit against Canada and Ontario for a breach of the legal and fiduciary obligations of the Crown. After many years of evidence, dozens of historical, economic and legal experts, and numerous community witnesses, Canada and Ontario have proposed negotiating a colony.
After accepting her long-awaited contract cheque at the Alderville Community Centre, she agreed that First Nations were wise to maintain a significant portion of habitat for future land investment and community development. Hutchins Legal worked with First Nations negotiators and helped reach an agreement in 2018. The comparison included $1.1 billion in financial compensation, recognition of harvesting rights before Confederation, long denied by the Crown, and additions to reserve lands. In addition, both the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario have publicly apologized for the wrongs committed in The Williams First Nations contracts. The provincial minister thanked the negotiating teams “who worked tirelessly to close this dark chapter in our province`s history.” He said many have worked hard for years to help sign this new treaty.