Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug Chief Issues Challenge to Minister Bartolucci

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kiKitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation – The Ontario Government and the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation (KI) are at loggerheads over mining yet again. Chief Donny Morris says, “It is very important if we want to work together, because we can’t always be having these clashes with both our governments”.

Chief Morris is seeking answers from Minister Bartolucci on a letter from KI to the Minister from last November 15, 2011. The community is concerned over exploration on their traditional lands.

Gods Lake Resources is exploring on KI territory, and has called the concerns raised by KI and Chief Morris “reckless”. The company says that it would like to enter into what it says should be “consultation discussions instead of stirring media controversy and bringing accusations that are reckless and potentially damaging to GLR’s reputation”.

Chief Morris states, “If you do not want to respond, as you know, we do tend to move on making our own recomendations and policies, leaving you behind”.

Chief Morris says he has taken the issue forward to Youtube in order perhaps to prod the Ontario Government into action.

This issue has been simmering since September 2011. The KI First Nation has the support of both Nishnawbe Aski Nation and the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL).

“Ontario must take action to preserve its relationship with the First Nations in Ontario’s far north,” said NAN Grand Chief Stan Beardy. “Ontario must respect the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, supported by Canada, which states that free, prior, and informed consent is required from First Nations. This province is failing to recognize First Nation jurisdiction over our homelands.”

“Canada’s largest labour federation is demanding that Ontario respect Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) Nation’s moratorium to protect their burials and sacred lands from desecration by mining exploration. Ontario has allowed exploration company God’s Lake Resources to stake claims directly on top of sacred KI burials. The company has dismissed KI’s concerns as rhetoric, indicating that they intend to continue exploration at the site in December,” said OFL President Sid Ryan.

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