THUNDER BAY – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Deputy Grand Chief Mike Metatawabin stated today that First Nations in the Far North will maintain their position of firm opposition to Bill 191 – The Far North Act. If the Bill is passed into law this week, NAN will maintain its former statements that uncertainty and unrest are imminent.
“This is not what we want, but given the Province of Ontario and the Premier’s refusal to honor their commitments to the people of NAN, we have no other choice,” said NAN Deputy Grand Chief Mike Metatawabin. “First Nations in the Far North have voiced their concerns over and over again regarding this Bill, and yet the Premier of Ontario remains unmoved. If there is conflict, it will be up to the Province to answer as to why. This government has been given ample opportunity to work with us, but chooses otherwise.”
NAN First Nations have not been properly consulted on Bill 191, despite the Province of Ontario’s continued attempts to state otherwise. As per unanimous resolutions passed by the NAN Chiefs-in-Assembly, the legislation will be opposed by any and all means necessary.
“If Bill 191 passes Third Reading, NAN will not recognize it,” said Metatawabin. “We will not compromise our rights as Treaty people. The law can be passed by the Province of Ontario, but this does not promise industry free access to our lands.”