Follow Us! Like Our Page!

Metlakatla First Nation and Canada settle Cloyah Bay claim for $5 million

Press Release

From: Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

November 16, 2023

Today, Robert Nelson, Chief Councillor of the Metlakatla First Nation, and the Honourable Gary Anandasangaree, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, announced the settlement of the Cloyah Bay Specific Claim in the traditional territory of the Metlakatla First Nation. This settlement marks progress toward addressing Canada’s historical wrongs and renewing the relationship with the Metlakatla First Nation.

The Cloyah Bay Specific Claim involved Canada’s failure to survey all the lands identified for reserve creation for the First Nation. As a result, 40 acres of land were improperly excluded from Metlakatla’s Reserve Number 5. Canada provided $5 million in compensation to correct this historic wrong and recognize loss of use for its members in the area.

The socio-economic gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples in Canada are the result of decades of colonial policies, which often led to the denial and dispossession of land. Honouring Canada’s legal obligations and properly compensating Indigenous Peoples for what was unlawfully taken or withheld from them is fundamental to advancing reconciliation in Canada and rebuilding trust with Indigenous communities.


“This settlement not only addresses an injustice against our ancestors due to the improper removal of lands within our traditional territory, but is a positive step toward ensuring a better and brighter future for current and future Metlakatla members. Through the decisions made by our Governing Council, Metlakatla is working to ensure the sustainable health and success for our Nation for the generations that follow.”

Chief Robert Nelson
Metlakatla First Nation

“Addressing these kinds of historical wrongs is key to Canada renewing the relationship with the Metlakatla First Nation. We recognize the harms caused to the community and will continue to be a partner in the development of the community today and for future generations. More to do.”

The Honourable Gary Anandasangaree
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Quick facts

  • The Metlakatla First Nation is based at Metlakatla on the North Coast of British Columbia, to the north of Prince Rupert.
  • In August 2015, the Metlakatla First Nation filed their Cloyah Bay Claim with the Specific Claims Tribunal. In 2020, the parties amended their respective pleadings to reflect their agreement that the claim was valid and that an additional 40 acres of land should have been included in Reserve Number 5.
  • In August 2022, the Metlakatla First Nation and the Government of Canada reached a settlement agreement. The Metlakatla First Nation signed the agreement in February 2023 and Canada signed in May 2023.
  • From January 1, 2016, to September 30, 2023, 270 specific claims have been resolved for close to $9.5 billion in compensation. Since the Specific Claims program began in 1973 to September 30, 2023, 675 claims, totalling $13.3 billion in compensation, have been settled through negotiations.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Matthieu Perrotin
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Gary Anandasangaree
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

CIRNAC Media Relations:

Jane Banning
Communications Manager
Metlakatla First Nation


NationTalk Partners & Sponsors Learn More