Gimaa Kwe Joanna Desmoulin, Chief of Netmizaaggamig Nishnaabeg (Pic Mobert First Nation) and the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, on behalf of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations, and the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, together with the Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs Ontario, announced the Addition to Reserve of 1038.155 hectares of land to Netmizaaggamig Nishnaabeg (Pic Mobert First Nation) Reserve North.
Through partnerships and collaborative dialogue, the three governments remain committed to finding shared solutions that address the wrongs of the past and advance reconciliation.
The addition to the reserve was the result of a framework agreement signed by the First Nation, Canada and Ontario in 1992, recognizing that additional lands were required for the sustainability, growth and economic development of the community. Following extensive consultations and negotiations, Netmizaaggamig Nishnaabeg (Pic Mobert First Nation), Canada and Ontario signed a final agreement in 2015 that provided the First Nation with a path outside of the land claim process to add land needed for community development.
The First Nation has already completed a land use plan for the newly added lands. Advanced planning is underway to develop a subdivision and commercial complex near the TransCanada Highway that will capitalize on the access to the highway market.
“This is an important milestone for the restoration of our unceded traditional lands and for the growth and development of our community. We honour the patience and support of our citizens and the many people on our team, and from Ontario and Canada, who have worked at this over the past 30 years or so, and remember our past Chief, the late James Kwissiwa, who signed the original framework agreement that put this in motion,” stated Gimaa Kwe Johanna Desmoulin, Netmizaaggamig Nishnaabeg (Pic Mobert First Nation).
“This Addition to Reserve will provide members of Netmizaaggamig Nishnaabeg (Pic Mobert First Nation) with the opportunity to realize their visions of community development and benefit from residential and economic opportunities. Congratulations to Gimaa Kwe Johanna Desmoulin and members of your community. Your leadership, dedication and hard work have turned your vision into a reality,” said Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P. Minister of Health.
“Ontario is proud to work in partnership with First Nation communities as we advance reconciliation, strengthen relationships and build Ontario together. Our government is glad to have helped facilitate this transfer of land to Netmizaaggamig Nishnaabeg (Pic Mobert First Nation) to support community growth and future opportunities,” concluded Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs Ontario .