Netmizaaggamig Nishnaabeg and Biigtigong Nishnaabeg Demand Mining Restrictions

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Mining Update
This is a public notice that Netmizaaggamig Nishnaabeg (NN) and Biigtigong Nishnaabeg(BN) have identified areas north of Lake Superior that are off-limits to mining exploration and development.
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These areas are of high cultural value where mineral exploration and development would be damaging to the communities. This information has been routinely shared with the government of Ontario.

These core cultural areas are located on lands over which both BN and NN have asserted Aboriginal Title. These two First Nations first provided the provincial and federal Crowns with notice of Aboriginal title in 1979, and are in settlement discussions with the Crown. By asserting Aboriginal title, BN and NN have given notice to the Crown that they did not cede their lands, or agree to share their lands, through the signing of a treaty.

On December 16th 2020, Ontario placed a Notice of Caution in its Mining Lands Administration System (MLAS) which alerted the mining industry to the presence of Aboriginal Title Claims in the region.

Despite this Notice of Caution, Ontario continues to allow mining claims to be registered within the identified Aboriginal title areas at locations Ontario knows to have been deemed by the communities as off-limits to mining activity.

Ontario’s policy to not consult with First Nations prior to registration of mining claims, and Ontario’s unwillingness to clearly tell the mining industry that there are exclusion areas and to refuse permits in these areas, has resulted in mining companies spending time, money, and effort on projects that will not have First Nations support and that will not advance.

Both BN and NN have good relationships with mining companies and recognize the important role that mining plays in the regional economy. The communities support mining in their territories where it is appropriately located, where environmental impacts have been minimized and mitigated, and where there are direct benefits to the communities.

Both communities hope that this public notice, and its associated map, will help develop clarity and certainty regarding areas that are, and are not, suitable for mineral development.

Shapefiles are available for download to help locate the exact boundaries of areas that the communities have identified as being “off limits”. Mining claims within these areas should be considered dead-end claims.

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