MARTEN FALLS – Marten Falls First Nation and Ontario announced the Province’s support to plan and construct a community access road to Marten Falls from existing provincial highway around Aroland/Nakina on August 21, 2017. As the next step towards that process, Marten Falls First Nation has now entered into a voluntary agreement with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) Ontario to conduct an Environmental Assessment (EA) on a community access road from Marten Falls First Nation going south to existing provincial highways.
Marten Falls First Nation would like to thank Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Ontario Liberal Party for their historic support and funding for this EA. The EA is the first step towards addressing the major transportation infrastructure deficiencies that have held back community growth and development in a number of ways. In recent years, these challenges have heightened due to climate change, which has shortened the seasonal access of winter roads and left our community members with limited economic opportunities. An agreement with Ontario to support the EA has allowed Marten Falls to envision a promising future where costs of living and daily necessities are lower and opportunities are more accessible.
Chief and Council are currently organizing the necessary resources to begin the project and are confident that this project will deliver good outcomes for the community and the region. As the project commences over the summer, Marten Falls will begin a process of collaborative planning with neighboring First Nations and communities to ensure that the project incorporates their thoughts and ideas in a meaningful way. This project is an opportunity to move forward on addressing many socio-economic needs of the community, including access to more affordable food and housing, access to training, education and employment and access to neighboring communities. In the future, the all-season road to the community can also be extended to the Ring of Fire so that Marten Falls First Nation, and other surrounding communities, can benefit from natural resources development.
It is the sincere hope of Marten Falls that the newly elected provincial government, regardless of their political party, will continue to support this essential project and work collaboratively with Marten Falls First Nation towards the development of the region.