Canada compensates indigenous group for taking their land a century ago

The government of Canada will pay the Siksika, an indigenous group from the west of the country, 1.3 billion Canadian dollars (about R$5 billion) in compensation for the theft of their land over a century ago.

The payment is part of an agreement signed this Thursday () by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Siksika tribal chief Ouray Crowfoot , in the indigenous group’s traditional territory east of the city of Calgary.

The compensation agreement, which, according to the Canadian government, is one of the largest signed by Ottawa with an indigenous group, will allow siksika acquire up to 465 square kilometers of territory, the same extension that was taken from them in 1910.

Trudeau qualified the agreement with the siksika as historic, noting that it “corrects a past mistake made by the government of Canada”.

Crowfoot expressed himself in similar terms, assuring that “Canada is not giving 1.3 billion to siksika. Canada is correcting of a mistake made more than a century ago when he took land illegally.”

In 1910, Canada snatched almost half of the territory that belonged to the Siksika through a treaty signed in 1877 between the Canadian government and five indigenous groups.

Canada took these lands, which included the best agricultural land and areas with great mining potential, to sell to settlers.

For more than 60 years, the Siksika tried to get Canada to recognize the illegality of their actions and obtain compensation.

Since he came to power in 2015, Trudeau says that reconciliation with the indigenous people is one of his priorities. But today Crowfoot, with the prime minister at his side, declared that the Canadian authorities must stop using the word reconciliation.

“They will never achieve reconciliation. to what it was before”, explained Crowfoot.

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