Land Claims & Reconciliation

FOCA recognizes and thanks the traditional stewards of the lands and waterways where we work and live.


The waterfront lands of Ontario are the traditional territories of many diverse Indigenous peoples who recognize the sacredness of water, the interconnectedness of all life and the importance of protecting land and water for the generations yet to come.

We are all on a journey towards truth and reconciliation, and we offer this recognition as an important step in that journey. No matter where you are located, FOCA encourages you to move forward in the spirit of respect, reciprocity, learning, and sharing that learning.

The Algonquin land claim covers a significant area of 36,000 square kilometres or 8.9 million acres within the Ottawa and Mattawa River watersheds, and is a topic of interest to many of our members in Eastern Ontario.

Algonquin communities are located in the general vicinity of: Ardoch, Bancroft, Golden Lake, Mattawa, North Bay, Ottawa, Sharbot Lake and Whitney.

Approximately 59 per cent of the claim area is privately held patented land, 21 per cent is within Algonquin Park, 16 per cent is provincial Crown lands, and four per cent is federal Crown land. More than a million people reside and work within the claim territory.

The settlement under negotiation may ultimately lead to new economic or land development initiatives, revised approaches to fishing and hunting, and other matters impacting waterfront property owners and adjacent lands.

Click here to link to the Ontario Ministry of Indigenous Affairs online pages about the Algonquin Land Claim.

Interactive Map of the Algonquins of Ontario

(click to access the webpage)

April 2022 – The Algonquin Land Claim (ALC) Ontario negotiation team recently reported to FOCA and other stakeholders that modest progress continues despite the considerable difficulties negotiating this complex modern treaty in the face of the COVID pandemic. While the Algonquin Negotiation Representatives have been focused on some fundamental questions about their enrolment requirements and organizational structure, the Ontario negotiation team has been reviewing the input received through their 2020-2021 public consultations on the proposed Algonquins of Ontario (AOO) lands package. They report having been able to develop proposals for local solutions to many of the outstanding concerns, and they look forward to advancing those discussions with the AOO.

Ontario is also preparing options to address legal interests such as leases and land use permits on the proposed AOO settlement lands, hoping to build on the good work that has been done with the forestry sector, the AOO and Ontario representatives in completing forestry transition plans.  The Province will be engaging with FOCA and others on these matters, as well as concluding the Algonquin Land Claim Declaration Order processes, later in 2022.

There is still much more work to be done to complete the negotiations, and the three parties continue to work toward a goal of achieving this in 2024.

You can read updates about the Treaty Negotiations on the AOO webpage: and the government of Ontario webpage:

May 2014 – The Draft Agreement-in-Principle (AIP) has been subject to a number of revisions after consultations with landowners and other interests over the last year or more.

Any changes that were made to the draft list of land parcels would have prompted the circulation of updated maps and other information to adjacent landowners (only).

Our understanding is that Ontario has approved the AIP for release to the Algonquins-of-Ontario (AOO), but the Federal Government is continuing to review it and has not provided that approval.

While FOCA has not been specifically informed, we assume that there is on-going background work by the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) in anticipation of future steps, and that this work should include such things as fish and wildlife inventories, endangered species mapping, lake capacity reviews, land use planning, forest management plan reviews, jurisdictional clarification, ground-truthing the maps etc.

Again, while we have not been informed, our experience in these types of land exchanges would lead us to surmise that databases are being developed that would include detailed information for each land parcel, including its current legal description, land use, zoning, encumbrances, legal designations, etc. Also at this point we would assume that there is more information on the intended use of the parcel once under AOO control (e.g. “recreational property development” “tourism”; “residential development” etc.).

As information is collected our hope is that the residents of the involved lakes will be consulted before conclusions are reached and decisions are made. Our association members have many years of experience on their lakes and can assist the governments in understanding the specifics of all land parcels. Involvement before decisions are made can help avoid problems that are usually associated with simply being informed of a decision after the fact.

Upon the (eventual) agreement of the specific land transfers, the Crown Land disposition of any Crown Lands will be subject to Environmental Assessment (EA), and a special declaration order, requiring the requisite review, consultation etc.

Our association is familiar with government EA processes and we will ensure we are engaged, and that lake associations receive timely information and the opportunity to be both involved and heard.

Anyone with ongoing concerns or questions is encouraged to contact the information centre directly:

Ontario Information Centre
Algonquin Land Claim
31 Riverside Drive
Pembroke, ON K8A 8R6
Phone: (613) 732-8081
Toll Free: 1-855-690-7070

from 2013 – Click the video at the side to hear FOCA’s Executive Director, Terry Rees, and others speak about the Algonquin Land Claim (Terry’s comments begin around 54:30 in the recording).

March 2013 – The negotiators have drafted a proposed Agreement-in-Principle that sets out the main elements of a potential settlement. The final settlement is expected to include a financial component, the transfer of some Crown lands to Algonquin ownership, and agreement regarding the nature of Algonquin harvesting rights (hunting and fishing). The draft Agreement-in-Principle (AIP) will be subject to a vote by the membership of the Algonquins of Ontario. The Governments of Ontario and Canada will also have to approve the draft AIP before the next phase of negotiations toward a Final Agreement can begin. The final settlement of this land claim is still a number of years away. It will be several years before any land is transferred to the Algonquins. Consultations with stakeholder groups, including FOCA (which has been a member of Ontario’s Committee of External Advisors – since 1996) have been limited to date. Meetings to discuss details with stakeholders and municipal governments have been promised but have been limited to date. Public meetings were held in March of 2013 to communicate the contents of the AIP. 

Private property will not be expropriated to settle this land claim. No new First Nation reserves will be created. The lands transferred to the Algonquins will become private land and will be subject to laws of general application. The Algonquin-owned lands will fall within existing municipal jurisdiction. All three negotiating parties are looking for workable solutions that respect the interests of all society, provide continued public access to Crown lands and natural resources, and protect biodiversity, resource sustainability and conservation. 

Ontario government negotiators have committed to minimizing the impacts of land selections on other users of Crown land. Any legal interest holders who may be directly affected by proposed Algonquin land selections should have been notified with the release of the AIP – this includes an offer to meet with representatives of the Ontario land selection team. Owners of private property who are adjacent to or abutting land that is being identified for potential transfer to Algonquin ownership are all supposed to be notified and provided with further information. Algonquin Park will remain a park for the appropriate use and enjoyment of all peoples. This has been an agreement of all three negotiating parties since 1994.


Please note: the following is archival material, and some links to third-party resources may no longer be active.

Sept. 10/13 –Lake residents want to work with Algonquins on a healthy Trout Lake fishery (North Bay Nugget)

August 28/13 – list of association consultations/meetings re: ALC (pdf; 1 page)

August 8/13 – letter from FOCA to MPs/MPPs (pdf; 2 pages) regarding the need for true consultation on the Land Claim – read FOCA’s letter by clicking the link, above, and use the contact links there to send your own letter

Township of North Frontenac special meeting on the Algonquin Land Claim. August 30, 2013, Plevna.

August 2013 – FOCA was copied on a reply from MPP Randy Hillier’s office responding to a constituent enquiry on this subject. Read the letter (pdf; 1 page) which emphasizes the importance of sending your concerns NOW, directly to the attention of the negotiating team.

Lake Association Resolution (pdf; 2 pages) regarding the Algonquin Land Claim (courtesy of Lake Weslemkoon Conservation Association)

July 30, 2013 – FOCA was copied on a letter (pdf; 8 pages) from a group of private landowners pursuing concerns about the Draft AIP.  Other concerned landowners can connect to this group by email at:

Lake Association Resolution (pdf; 2 pages) regarding the Algonquin Land Claim (courtesy of Lake Clear POA)

June 25, 2013 – Algonquins propose 46-lot subdivision (pdf; 3 pages) in Mattawa River Provincial Park (North Bay Nugget)

June 19, 2013 – FOCA receives an unsolicited letter (pdf; 2 pages) and fact sheet (pdf; 2 pages) for landowners, from Ontario’s Chief Negotiator. Note that the use of designated lands are described as “varied and evolving“, and subject to municipal zoning. Interested property owners are encouraged to contact their local municipality to find out more about proposed uses that may impact them.

Confused about the Land Selection process? Click here (pdf; 1 page). Use this form (pdf; 1 page) to record notes about any parcels you’re concerned about.

March, 2013 – FOCA co-hosted public meetings to discuss the implications of the Land Claim Agreement in Principle, with many cottage association members in attendance.

Bancroft – March 6
Perth – February 22
Stittsville – February 25
North Bay – February 27
Pembroke – February 28

August 9, 2012 – FOCA was mentioned among groups who have expressed concern over the Algonquin Land Claim in the Frontenac News article, “Algonquin Land Claim Hits the World of Sports Radio.” Click here to read…

Additional Resources:

Find out more about the Algonquin Land Claim

Public Meetings
Public information sessions about the Algonquin Land Claim were held at several locations as shown below.

Ottawa: Wed. March 6, 2013, at Tudor Hall
Perth: Thurs. March 7, 2013, at Perth Lions’ Hall
Kingston: Fri. March 8, 2013, at TraveLodge Hotel LaSalle
North Bay: Tues. March 12, 2013, at Best Western North Bay Hotel & Conference Centre
Mattawa: Wed. March 13, 2013, at Mike Rodden Arena & Community Centre
Pembroke: Thurs. March 14, 2013, at Best Western Pembroke Inn & Conference Centre
Bancroft: Fri. March 15, 2013, at Faraday Community Centre
Toronto: Sat. March 16, 2013, at Radisson Toronto East

December 2012 – LAND CLAIM UPDATE: After many years of negotiations, the parties have just released the “Preliminary Draft Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement-in-Principle” for public review. This includes proposed terms, and maps related to the Land Claim.

Note that a series of public consultations are planned for early 2013. FOCA will be publishing notice of these meetings, as information becomes available.

August 2012 – In late July, FOCA had an initial meeting with the Claims Negotiation unit of the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). FOCA has also liaised with Al Stewart, Chair of the Stakeholder Committee. MNR has reiterated that public consultation will happen once the Agreement in Principle (AIP) has been released. Map boundaries are to be considered tentative until further notice.

On behalf of our members, FOCA restated the need for public consultation as soon as possible.

We have been promised more information on timelines for the entire process, and particularly for public consultation, “by September.”

The interests of waterfront property owners in Eastern Ontario will be impacted by the terms being negotiated as part of the Algonquin Land Claim.

FOCA strongly believes that consideration of the potential impacts on private landowners should be a priority for everyone at the negotiating table.

FOCA has provided a written comment (pdf; 3 pages) to this effect, and we encourage all landowners with an interest in this matter to likewise indicate your interest in this important matter. See FOCA’s written comment (link above) for a list of possible contacts on the final page, or send to:

Ontario Information Centre
Algonquin Land Claim
31 Riverside Drive
Pembroke, ON K8A 8R6
Phone: (613) 732-8081
Fax: (613) 732-7136