The Canadian government pays the siksikaan indigenous group from the west Canada1,300 million Canadian dollars (about 841 billion Chilean pesos) in compensation for the theft of their land more than a century ago.
The payment is part of an agreement signed Thursday by the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeauand the chief of the Siksika, Ouray Crow’s Foot, in the traditional territory of the indigenous group, east of the city of Calgary.
The compensation agreement — which the Canadian government says is one of the largest signed by Ottawa with an indigenous group — will allow the Siksika to acquire up to 465 square kilometers of territory, the same amount that was taken from them in 1910.
Trudeau called the deal with the Siksika historic, saying it “corrects a past mistake by the government of Canada”.
Crowfoot expressed himself in similar terms, assuring that “Canada is not giving $1,300 million to the Siksika. Canada is correcting a mistake made more than a century ago when it illegally took (465 square kilometers) of land.”
In 1910 Canada captured nearly half of the territory belonging to the Siksika under an 1877 treaty between the Canadian government and five indigenous groups.
At the time, the government confiscated the land, including the best farmland and areas with high mining potential, to sell to settlers.
For more than 60 years, the Siksika have been trying to get Canada to recognize the illegality of their actions and seek compensation.
Since Trudeau came to power in 2015, the Canadian politician has said reconciliation with indigenous peoples is one of his priorities.
But today Crowfoot, with Trudeau by his side, declared that Canadian authorities should stop using the word reconciliation: “They will never reconcile. They will never be able to recover and return to what was before.”be up to Crowfoot.