FORT WILLIAM FIRST NATION -The deadline for the submissions to the Government of Ontario on the proposed Big Thunder Wind Farm atop the Nor’Wester Mountain Escarpment is June 22nd 2013.
Big Thunder Wind Farm not all is well
Ministry of the Environment
Environmental Approvals Branch
2 St. Clair Avenue West
Toronto, ON M4V 1L5
Attn: Sarah Raetsen, Senior Program Support Coordinator
Dear Ms. Raetsen:
RE EPA s. 47.3 REA Approval – Horizon Wind Inc. – EBR Registry Number 011-8937
As you have no doubt have realized by now, there are serious issues with respect to the location of Horizon’s proposed Big Thunder Wind Park.
[sws_pullquote_right]This project was first conceived in 2005, which was 8 years ago. However, no one has ever consulted with members of Fort William First Nations or any of the Signatories of the Robinson Superior Treaty. [/sws_pullquote_right] However, the more disturbing aspect of this is the obvious incomplete application put forth by Horizon and the fact that the Crown (MOE) deemed this application as complete. By doing so the Crown has effectively set our people and the Crown on a collision course. We only hope it has been done this way to allow for a final rejection of the Horizon’s Big Thunder Wind Park project.
The application is incomplete as Horizon failed to consult with the members of Fort William First Nations and or any other Signatory of the 1850 Robinson Superior Treaty.
The only time Horizon met with the Members of Fort William First Nations is during an information meeting 6 days prior to their own self-imposed deadline for Consultation on May 30, 2011This was NOT a consultation meeting.
Also equally important is that at no time did the Crown in any way shape or form Consult with the Members of Fort William First Nations or any of the Signatories of the 1850 Robinson Superior Treaty.
– Horizons’ Moose Study which to say the least is also incomplete and completely self-serving. Instead we invite you to take the time to read a study completed by a local biologist with extensive knowledge of moose and their habitat in and around Northern Ontario. (See attached) At the very least this should be enough to show that a more detailed and proper study must be completed before any decisions are made.
– Our community of Fort William First Nations intends to use Loch Lomond as a Water Source for our people. The protection of the Entire Loch Lomond Watershed is paramount to the safety of our Sacred water source. Realize that what happens to one side will have an effect on the other.
– The Eastern Cougar (Felis concolor couguar) is listed under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act, 2007 and is known to exist in the Loch Lomond Watershed. With sightings in the general area of the proposed wind farm.
– Horizon intends to open up the Loch Lomond Watershed to other development which will be equally destructive to our Sacred Water Source. This again was never conveyed to the Members of Fort William First Nations and or the Signatories of the 1850 Robinson Superior Treaty.
– All decisions were made by Horizon and the City of Thunder Bay, without consulting the members of Fort William or any of the Signatories of the 1850 Robinson Superior Treaty. That a lawsuit was filed against the City of Thunder Bay when the City of Thunder Bay requested of Horizon to move some of the Turbines. That the City of Thunder Bay caved to Horizons Bullying tactics. That the City of Thunder Bay, many of its residence, the township of Neebing are all in fear of being sued by Horizon if they voice their concerns over this project. That even the Crown (MOE) caved to Horizons bullying tactics by allowing the application to be deemed complete after Horizon filed for a Judicial Review.
This project was first conceived in 2005, which was 8 years ago. However, no one has ever consulted with members of Fort William First Nations or any of the Signatories of the Robinson Superior Treaty.
If Horizon or the Crown had taken the time to Consult with Members of Fort William First Nations or any of the Signatories of the 1850 Robinson Superior Treaty, you both would have realized how important this land is to our people. That it’s sacred and will be protected at any cost.
I would now like to bring your attention to what lies ahead.
We all must understand the seriousness of this situation:
If this project is approved, the Crown would be effectively extinguishing our constitutional protected rights to be consulted and to continue to exercise ours rights upon the Loch Lomond Watershed. As well as the Crowns Duty to protect First Nations Constitutional Protected Rights under the Canada Constitution 1985 section 35.
This would send two very real and scary messages to our First Nations.
– That a proponent nor the Crown need not Consult with First Nations Communities.
– That the Crown will not Protect the Rights of First Nations as required by The Canada Constitution 1985.
The impact of such a decision need not to be explained, however it’s safe to say that it would be devastating to an already challenged relationship between the Crown/Proponents and First Nations Communities. This may also open the Crown to various legal challenges with the real possibility of challenges in other economic strategies such as in the Ring of Fire and abroad.
In our opinion a decision to allow this project to move forward would set us back to an earlier time when the Crown Promised to Protect our Rights all the while they allowed our rights and our land to be systematically eradicated. All with the idea of a better future for our People. One only has to open their eyes to see where that got us.
As First Nations Members of the 1850 Robinson Superior Treaty we believe our Rights extend the entire 1850 Robinson Superior Treaty Area. In order to protect our rights and the rights of our Future Generations, we believe we have a duty to exert our rights to be consulted whenever our rights may be affected within the entire 1850 Robinson Superior Treaty Area.
It is the Crown’s Duty to protect our Rights under the 1850 Robinson Superior Treaty when these Rights may be impacted within the entire 1850 Robinson Superior Treaty Area.
It is your duty not to allow this proponent’s incompetence and blatant disregard for our First Nations Rights, to effectively extinguish the rights of First Nations.
It is your duty not to allow your fear of the Proponent to effectively extinguish the rights of First Nations.
Finally, the Loch Lomond Watershed forms a very important link for our people to be able to transfer our knowledge from one generation to another.
It is by this way, our traditions and thus our Culture will remain intact.
It has been this way for Generations and will remain this way for all Future Generations.
Any destruction of the Loch Lomond Watershed whatsoever will be a Destruction of our Culture and our way of Life.
If you don’t understand this, then you must take the time and Consult with the Members of Fort William First Nations and the Members of the Signatories of the 1850 Robinson Superior Treaty.
Nigabiiwanose (Wyatt Bannon)
Fort William First Nation / Signatory of the 1850 Robinson Superior Treaty.