Tobique First Nation is one of six Wolastoqiyik or Maliseet Nation reserves in New Brunswick, Canada. Tobique is the largest of the Wolastoqiyik and Maliseet Nation reserves in NB with a population of approximately 2500.
The Tobique Reserve is located on the north side of the Tobique River. The reserve comprises two lots (The Brother's # 18, 4 ha; Tobique # 20, 2724 ha). The Tobique Reserve, established in 1801 with nearly 20,000 acres, was granted after a petition to the government by band members. Over the years, the reserve was reduced by surrenders to squatters and a major surrender in 1892. Roughly two-thirds of members of the Tobique First Nation reside on the reserve lands.
In 2009 the government accepted the Tobique Specific Land Claim related to 10,533 acres which they claimed to have lost in the invalid surrender of 1892. The federal government and First Nation, in collaboration with the provincial government, will be negotiating a settlement compensation package. No existing landowners will be disturbed.
In 1890 the government of New Brunswick attempted to open a large portion of the Tobique Reserve for settlement by non-Aboriginal peoples. In order to move towards this goal, the government of New Brunswick conducted a land surrender in 1892. But, 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." The government sold most of the land to individuals, except for 169 acres (68 ha), which was returned to the Tobique band in 1965
The Tobique First Nation has been working on the issues of land claims. It has filed two suits: one for the 2,539 acres lost in the town of Perth; and one for more than 10,000 acres lost in the 1892 surrender, which amounted to nearly two-thirds of its land
On May 23, 2008 Canada accepted only the second as the Tobique Specific Land Claim for negotiation on the basis of its lawful obligation due to an invalid surrender. Under the terms of negotiation, the government and First Nation have three years to reach agreement on a compensation package for the claim. Existing property owners will not be affected, as settlement does not include expropriation. Under the Specific Claim Policy, the First Nation is entitled to be compensated for the Current Unimproved Market Value of the Claim Lands and Compensation for Loss of Use, the reasonable and probable Loss of Use that occurred because of the breach, from July 1, 1867 to 2009