Since 1982, the Treaty and Aboriginal Rights Research Centre of Manitoba, Inc. (T.A.R.R.) has provided claims and historical research services to its member Manitoba First Nations. The focus of this research has been on First Nation history, Indian Trust Funds and land claims. One major activity has been the historical research and technical support on the Treaty land entitlement issue. Other issues include Treaty rights, such as hunting, fishing, trapping and gathering; Aboriginal rights; claims policy reform, etc.
At the request of, and in consultation with a First Nation, T.A.R.R. will research and develop claims based on such specific issues as reserve land surrenders, reserve land alienation, the administration of Indian Trust funds and Treaty land entitlements. The T.A.R.R. Centre’s services are provided at no charge to its member First Nations. If a claim is rejected by Canada [to whom claims are submitted for review] the T.A.R.R. Centre will assist the First Nation in exploring options that may lead to resolution of the claim. T.A.R.R. also monitors developments in contemporary First Nations issues such as the application of rights guaranteed in the Treaties, case law on related issues, Indian Act, claims policy reform, etc. The T.A.R.R. Centre receives funding on an annual basis from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada to undertake claims research and development on behalf of its member First Nations.
The T.A.R.R. Centre is directly accountable to its member First Nations. A Board of Directors, made up of Chiefs from seven regions in Manitoba that roughly correspond to the Tribal Council areas, meet on a regular basis to set direction for the Centre and to oversee its operations. The T.A.R.R. Centre’s Head Office is located on the Brokenhead Ojibway Nation Reserve # 4.
T.A.R.R. has a large collection of historical material focused mainly on the First Nations of Manitoba. The library contains works on a number of related topics such as the Indian Act, the Treaties, general historical works, etc. The library’s catalogue is also computerized to enhance research capabilities. Access to the collection is open to the general public. The T.A.R.R. Centre is not a lending library therefore no material will be allowed to leave the Centre. There is a fee for any photocopying required. It is preferred that prior notice be given to access the collections at the Winnipeg office. Some of the resources contained in the T.A.R.R. Centre’s collection include: Department of Indian Affairs records [micro-media], Church Missionary Society records [micro-media], historical records for each First Nation, maps of Indian Reserves in Manitoba and detailed historical photographs.