Published on September 17, 2010 by John
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Neqotkuk (Tobique First Nation) from Andover, New Brunswick
Tobique First Nation is one of six Wolastoqiyik or Maliseet Nations in New Brunswick, Canada.
The Tobique reserve is located on the Tobique River. The reserve comprises two lots (The Brother’s # 18, 4 ha; Tobique # 20, 2724 ha). The Tobique reserve established in 1801, was granted after a petition by band members. Roughly two thirds of members of the Tobique First Nation reside on the reserve lands.
1892 Surrender Claim
In 1890 the government of New Brunswick attempted to open a large portion of the Tobique Reserve for settlement by non-Aboriaonal peoples. In order to move towards this goal the government of New Brunswick conducted a land surrender in 1892. However, the surrender was conducted without the consent of the Order in Council, a necessary step in the surrender process. The surrender concerned land “south of the Tobique river saving and excepting a tract of two hundred acres on the south-side designated as Indian Meadows”. This land was almost completely sold to individuals except for 169 acres (68 ha), which was returned to the band in 1965. On May 23, 2008 a specific land claim was launched by the Tobique First Nation for the land cited in the illegal land surrender in 1892.
Confrontation with New Brunswick Power Corporation
The Tobique reserve and the New Brunswick Power Corporation have a long history, a bid to constructed a hydro-electric dam was rejected in 1844, another rejected in 1895. By 1945 the provincial and federal governments had started development of a dam on the Tobique river, in 1950 the Premiere of New Brunswick approved the construction of the dam with out the consent of the of the land owner.
In 2008 under threat of having power to the reserve cut of completely, a number of residents set up a blockade, stopping all NB power trucks from entering on to the reserve. In 2009 tensions escalated when a NB Power truck did not stop at a road block resulting the seizer of the NB Power truck.