THUNDER BAY – The issue of mining on First Nations lands in Northern Ontario continues to heat up. In Toronto today, Nishnawbe Aski Grand Chief Stan Beardy presented an invoice to Ontario.
Calling it a historic swindle, Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Stan Beardy presented the Government of Ontario with a billing invoice for the resource benefits derived from the Nishnawbe Aski territories.
The invoice totals $127million. The annual billing invoice is calculated over 100 years at current day values and represents only a portion of the $32 billion owed.
A NAN Chiefs Resolution was passed in May 2012 where the Chiefs authorized NAN to set up a
negotiation committee with a clear mandate to negotiate a resource-revenue sharing agreement on behalf of all NAN First Nations.
“Due to impending developments within the NAN territory, our Chiefs are responding by doing more than monitoring the situation, they are taking action,” said Grand Chief Stan Beardy. “We commissioned a report that focused on resource revenue for the past 100 years and quantified it for the NAN region.”
The report produced by Dr. Fred Lazar of the Schulich School of Business was commissioned in December 2011. The report relied on data from the Chiefs of Ontario Revenue Sharing Report, the Public Accounts of Ontario and various resources quantified for the NAN Region.
“My understanding of Treaties 5 and 9 is that all revenues generated from the lands covered by these treaties were to be shared – there was no surrender involved,” said Dr. Lazar. “The NAN First Nations have never been given their share, nor has the province ever offered the compensation owing or has offered to sit down with the NAN First Nations Chiefs to negotiate a revenue sharing agreement, an agreement that is over a century overdue.”