CAT LAKE First Nation – A Band Council Resolution (BCR) ratifying an existing moratorium on mining exploration and related road construction has been issued by the Cat Lake First Nation (CLFN) located 400 km NW of Thunder Bay. The BCR has been sent to Premier Ford, The Ontario Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks, Minister of Mines and Minister of Indigenous Affairs and First Mining Gold Corporation.
Chief Russell Wesley explained “CLFN’s action is directly responsive to the Province of Ontario telling Cat Lake First Nation on September 13th, 2023, they intend to again issue permits allowing exploration by First Mining Gold Corporation (proposed Springpole Mine Project) on Cat Lake First Nation Aboriginal Title lands.” A similar road construction on CLFN lands occurred in the winter of 2022-23 contrary to the CLFN Moratorium on mining activity.
The plan for the proposed mine includes partially draining a crystal clear Lake Trout lake. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Species Conservation Policy Branch indicates – Lake Trout lakes are rare. Only about one percent of Ontario’s lakes contain Lake Trout, but this represents 20-25% of all Lake Trout lakes in the world.
Chief Wesley observed, “Again Ontario is granting permits for winter road construction and mining exploration in open defiance of Cat Lake First Nation’s wishes. Ontario is a repeat offender and adding insult to injury. The people of Cat Lake are appalled that Ontario would again attempt to issue permits despite Cat Lake First Nation well documented opposition.”
The Chief concluded, “It is the will of Cat Lake people that CLFN leadership will decide whether to consent or not to mining. We are carefully considering our options and next steps, but the Premier of Ontario is now on notice that we are resolutely opposed to these types of permits being issued.”