THUNDER BAY – Six Northern Ontario First Nations who will be impacted by the proposed mines and infrastructure development in the Ring of Fire are in the final stages of issuing a 30-day eviction notice to all mining companies with exploration and development camps in the region.
The forthcoming eviction notice for a moratorium on all Ring of Fire mining activity will come from the First Nation communities of Aroland, Constance Lake, Ginoogaming, Longlake #58, Neskantaga, and Nibinamik. Other First Nations in the area will also have the opportunity to sign on before it is distributed.
Chief Sonny Gagnon of Aroland First Nation said, “Cliffs, Noront and all the other mining companies active in the Ring of Fire will have thirty days from the time the eviction notice is served to pack up their bags and leave our lands”.
Chief Peter Moonias of Neskantaga First Nation said, “We are sending a strong message to Ontario and Canada that we need to negotiate a process for First Nation participation in the mining projects that will be changing our lives forever. Unless and until we have a table for government to government negotiations we will evict the intruders from our lands’.
Chief Johnny Yellowhead of Nibinamik First Nation said, “All the Memorandums of Cooperation in the world cannot hide the fact that there are no negotiations or agreements in place with Ontario and Canada to deliver First Nation decision making, a full and thorough regional environmental assessment with hearings in our communities and resource revenue sharing. Unless we stop this project now and assert our Aboriginal and Treaty rights we will be left on the sidelines watching the chromite leave our lands while our communities remain in poverty”.
The Chiefs have been calling for government to government talks for over two years and Ontario and Canada continue to ignore them while proceeding full speed ahead with developing the road, infrastructure, refinery and mines.
In October 2011, Canada rejected the First Nations demand for a negotiated joint review panel environmental assessment for the Cliffs Chromite project and forced the First Nations to launch a judicial review of the federal decision to use simply a paper process called a comprehensive study for the environmental assessment. That court action will not see a hearing until 2013.