Gull Bay First Nation has commenced a claim in Ontario Superior Court to enforce on a promise made by the Crown in the Robinson-Superior Treaty of 1850. That treaty created a reserve at Gull River, but the entirety of the promised reserve has never been provided, and Gull Bay is seeking to have this 166 year old error resolved.
The Gull River Reserve was not surveyed until the mid-1880s, decades after the Treaty was negotiated. At that time, the treaty signatories had deceased, and the survey was done incorrectly due to a misunderstanding about how the parties had agreed the Reserve would be measured. The Crown then set out a reserve a fraction of the size promised in the agreement between the Chiefs and the Crown representatives in 1850.
Gull Bay has tried for years to have this issue resolved with the governments by negotiation, but this has not yet achieved any results. Gull Bay Chief Wilfred King expressed his determination to see this matter resolved, saying: “Our Nation wants a fair and just resolution of this longstanding issue. It has always been our preference to work together to address the errors of the past. We have filed our law suit to ensure our rights are protected under the Treaty, and we hope that the governments will move quickly to negotiate this dispute rather than force it to proceed through litigation.”