First Nations Leaders Discuss Ring of Fire Development

The Ring of Fire Presents Huge Opportunity for Ontario.
The Ring of Fire will impact First Nations in Northern Ontario.

The Ring of Fire Presents Huge Opportunity for Ontario.
The Ring of Fire will impact First Nations in Northern Ontario.

THUNDER BAY – MINING – The First Nations whose lands and resources will be most affected by the proposed Ring of Fire development met today with Noront Resources and the provincial government to discuss the requirements for Noront’s proposed Eagle Nest Project to proceed.

Marten Falls First Nation, Webequie First Nation and Neskantaga First Nation leadership delivered a strong and united message to Noront and the province. For the Eagle Nest Project to proceed Noront must:

  1. Respect individual First Nation protocols and informed decision-making;
  2. Resolve outstanding capacity funding issues with First Nations;
  3. Enter into exploration agreements with the affected First Nations; and
  4. Respect the Regional Framework Agreement between First Nations and Ontario which requires working together with the First Nations on an enhanced environmental assessment for Noront’s Eagle Nest Project.

“The three First Nations agree that there has not been meaningful consultation and engagement on Noront’s permits and proposed development,” stated Neskantaga First Nation Chief Peter Moonias. The Noront permits and mining project require our free, prior and informed consent. Our inherent rights must be respected. As part of the process, Noront and the province must consult and engage with us in good faith so that our communities can make informed decisions.”

“To date, Noront has not shown enough respect for our protocols,” said Marten Falls First Nation Interim Chief Ambrose Achneepineskum. “Mining companies need to reach agreements with our First Nation before any work can take place in our territory.”

“Companies and government need to respect our jurisdiction and our treaty,” said Webequie First Nation Chief Cornelius Wabasse. “Under our indigenous laws, and to respect Canadian law, mining companies need to seek our consent before they can do anything on our lands.”

The First Nations emphasized with Noront and the province that they continue to be willing to discuss respectful and mutually beneficial ways forward. Unless this happens, they cannot expect First Nation support.