A portion of the long-sought-after Culbertson Tract will once again belong to the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte after a vote on the matter concluded this weekend.
The band council said 95 per cent of the more than 2,000 votes cast supported ratifying the deal for a portion of the tract, bringing nearly 300 acres of land back under Mohawk control after almost two centuries.
According to news release from the band council, in 1837, more than 923 acres of the Mohawk Tract were “illegally patented to John Culbertson, who was the grandson of our community’s founder Mohawk Captain John Deseronto.”
The band council said this deal was done in contravention to a previous treaty, formally deeding the tract to the Mohawks back in 1793 after fighting for the British during the American revolutionary war.
In 1995, the band council issued a land claim to regain the tract they say was taken from them.
Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte to vote on Culbertson Land Tract
In 2003, the government accepted the claim. After 17 years of negotiations with the federal government, the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte will now be once again in possession of about a third of the tract. The agreement will also include $25 million, which is meant to represent losses for the use of the land over a 180-year period.
The agreement will go to the Minister of the Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs for signature once federal cabinet appointments take place.
Work to secure the remaining more than 600 acres continues.
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