Naicatchewenin First Nation, Canada and Ontario reach settlement agreement on Treaty 3 flooding claim

News release

May 9, 2024 — Naicatchewenin First Nation, Treaty 3 Territory, Ontario — Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada and Ontario Ministry of Indigenous Affairs

The Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario are working to renew the relationships between the Crown and Indigenous Peoples in Canada based on the affirmation of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership.

Today, Wayne Smith, Chief of Naicatchewenin First Nation, Jaime Battiste, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, and the Honourable Greg Rickford, Ontario Minister of Indigenous Affairs, announced the successful settlement of a tripartite negotiation between the Naicatchewenin First Nation, the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario, regarding the Naicatchewenin Flooding Claim. This settlement will provide Naicatchewenin First Nation with $21,815,877 in compensation, with Canada paying $11,807,068 and Ontario paying $10,008,809.

This settlement marks progress toward addressing historical wrongs and renewing the relationship with the Naicatchewenin First Nation.

The claim was filed in response to the construction of the Fort Frances–International Falls Dam across the Rainy River in 1905, which resulted in flooding of Naicatchewenin First Nation’s reserve lands. The flooding continues to impact the reserve land today. Honouring Canada's legal obligations and properly compensating Naicatchewenin First Nation for unlawful conduct is a fundamental part of advancing reconciliation in Canada and rebuilding trust with Indigenous communities.


“I would like to acknowledge the hard work and determination put forth by the present and past Leadership of Naicatchewenin First Nation, along with the technicians in achieving what we believe to be fair compensation for the historical damage created by the building of the Fort Frances-International Falls Dam in 1905, which flooded our traditional lands.

The Government’s efforts in honouring their legal obligation is a positive step towards addressing historical wrongs and advancing reconciliation with our Nation. 

We cannot compensate the ancestors who physically and mentally experienced the effects of this original action, but we will continue to invest in our Youth, Elders and Band members in the constant effort of making better lives for the people of our Nation.”

Chief Wayne Smith
Naicatchewenin First Nation

“It is my hope that this settlement agreement serves as a symbol of Canada’s dedication to renewing our relationship with the Naicatchewenin First Nation. In this case, Canada failed to protect the reserve lands people relied on. In other instances, Canada was not a good Treaty partner. There is a lot of work ahead, but as we celebrate this step in the right direction, we also reaffirm our efforts to build trust with the people of Naicatchewenin First Nation.”

Jaime Battiste
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

“Ontario is proud to work in partnership with Naicatchewenin and other First Nation communities as we advance reconciliation, strengthen relationships and build Ontario together. The agreement, achieved through fair, respectful and meaningful negotiation, will enhance the social and economic well-being of the community and bring greater prosperity to the surrounding region.”

The Honourable Greg Rickford
Ontario’s Minister of Indigenous Affairs and Member of Provincial Parliament for Kenora–Rainy River

Quick facts

  • Naicatchewenin First Nation is located on Rainy Lake, 60 kilometres northwest of Fort Frances, Ontario, in Treaty 3. The community is home to approximately 600 members.

  • Naicatchewenin First Nation submitted a flooding claim to Canada and Ontario in  1996. It was accepted for negotiation by Ontario in 2003 and by Canada in 2009.

  • On September 21, 2023, the membership of Naicatchewenin First Nation held a ratification vote to approve the settlement agreement. Following successful ratification of the settlement agreement, Naicatchewenin Chief and Council executed the settlement agreement on September 29, 2023.  Minister Rickford executed the settlement agreement on behalf of Ontario on October 17, 2023, and Minister Anandasangaree executed the settlement agreement on behalf of Canada on January 10, 2024.

  • From January 1, 2016, to March 31, 2024, 297 claims have been resolved by Canada for close to $11.1 billion in compensation. Since the Specific Claims Program began in 1973 to March 31, 2024, 702 claims totalling $14.9 billion in compensation have been settled through negotiations.

  • Ontario has been settling claims with Indigenous communities since 1983. To date, 65 land claims and other agreements have been reached. Learn more about land claims in Ontario (linked below).

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Chief Wayne Smith
Naicatchewenin First Nation

Matthieu Perrotin
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Gary Anandasangaree
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

CIRNAC Media Relations:

Curtis Lindsay
Office of The Honourable Greg Rickford
Ontario Minister of Indigenous Affairs

Flavia Mussio
Communications Branch
Ministry of Indigenous Affairs, Government of Ontario

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