Treaty and Aboriginal Rights Research

The TARR program relates to specific claims arising from legal obligations of the Crown, mainly breaches of assets arising from Treaty, Indian Act, or non-provisions of reserve land, administration of reserve lands monies held in trust, or illegal disposition of reserve lands, inadequate compensation for reserve lands and finally fraud in relation to the acquisition and disposition of reserve lands by agents of the Crown. Claims can include but are not limited to  farming claims, highway claims, railway claims, flooding claims, timber claims, and other claims within the jurisdiction of Treaty #3.

TARR is funded to perform research until the validation stage, which includes the minimum standards. Our member First Nations apply for Loan Funding independently for specific claims negotiations.

Proposed performance indicators criteria for TARR research units has been amended to include other areas besides the specific claims research.

Here is an excerpt from the 2009 Policy “Justice At Last” for “lawful obligation” validation stage of the process:

A First Nation may submit a claim seeking compensation for its losses based on any of the following grounds:

  1. a treaty or another agreement between the First Nation and the Crown*;
  2. a breach of a legal obligation of the Crown* under the Indian Act or any other  legislation – pertaining to Indians or lands reserved for Indians – of Canada or of a  colony of Great Britain of which at least some portion now forms part of Canada;
  3. a breach of a legal obligation arising from the Crown’s* provision or non-provision of  reserve lands, including unilateral undertakings that give rise to a fiduciary obligation at  law, or its administration of reserve lands, Indian moneys or other assets of the First  Nation;
  4. an illegal lease or disposition by the Crown* of reserve lands;
  5. a failure to provide adequate compensation for reserve lands taken or damaged by the  Crown* or any of its agencies under legal authority; or
  6. fraud by employees or agents of the Crown* in connection with the acquisition, leasing  or disposition of reserve lands.*This term is defined in the Glossary.


The compensation criteria as previously set out in Outstanding Business: A Native Claims Policy shall continue to be the basis upon which compensation is determined.

  1. As a general rule, a claimant band shall be compensated for the loss it has incurred and the damages it has suffered as a consequence of the breach by the federal government of its lawful obligations. This compensation will be based on legal principles.
  2. Where a claimant band can establish that certain of its reserve lands were taken or  damaged under legal authority, but that no compensation was ever paid, the band shall be  compensated by the payment of the value of these lands at the time of the taking or the  amount of the damage done, whichever is the case.
  3. (i) Where a claimant band can establish that certain of its reserve lands were never lawfully surrendered, or otherwise taken under legal authority, the band shall be compensated either by the return of the lands or by the current unimproved value of the lands.
  4. (ii) Compensation may include an amount based on the loss of use of the lands in question, where it can be established that the claimants did in fact suffer such a loss. In every case the loss shall be the net loss.

Here is the minimum standards for Specific Claims Submissions.:

    1. Claim Document
    2. The claim document must include:
      • a list of allegations based on one or more of the grounds related to the validity of the claim, as set out in the specific claims policy;
      • legal arguments supporting each allegation;
  • a statement of the facts supporting the allegations;
    • a statement that compensation is being claimed; and,
    • a list of authorities with citations, including treaties, statutes, case law and law journal articles, that support the allegations (copies not required).
  • Historical Report A historical report, including references to supporting documents, outlining the factual circumstances surrounding the allegations, must be provided.
  • Supporting Documents Complete copies of primary documents and relevant excerpts of secondary documents relied upon to support the allegations included in the claim document and referred to in the historical report are also necessary. Further details related to supporting documents are included in the “Form and Manner” in the Minimum Standard guidelines as follows:

Minimum Standard for Form and Manner

  1. The documents provided in support of the claim submission must be clearly labelled with the document source and number. Supporting documents must be identified as referenced in the claim document and/or the historical report and/or the list of all allegations. A separate document index setting out, at a minimum, the document number, date and archival reference where applicable, must be provided with the claim submission.
  2. Documents can be submitted as hard copies and/or on CD-Rom, DVD-ROM, or any other standard mass storage device.

The supporting documents must be legible and complete. This may require preparing transcripts of documents that are of poor quality or are difficult to read. Avoid writing on copies of documents included in the submission and ensure that document pages are not cut off, stapled through or added to binders in a manner that obscures the text. Minor technical errors, such as a missing page or illegible photocopy, will be brought to the attention of the claimant so that the error may be addressed by the claimant. This should not, however, affect compliance with the Minimum Standards.

For more Information contact Larry Morrison, T.A.R.R Specialist at 1-807-548-4214.