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First Nations band together to oppose mining activity

By Tim Davidson Mar 29, 2023 | 2:50 PM

A number of First Nations in northwestern Ontario are demanding a stop to mining exploration activity in their traditional land use territory.

Chief Rudy Turtle from Grassy Narrows says they’ve seen a significant rise in exploration permits since the start of the year.

“We don’t want mining, we don’t want development, we want to keep our land as it is and keep it healthy so that our young people for generations to come can use the land that way we’ve always used it, the way our ancestors always used it,” Turtle told a news conference at Queen’s Park.

A graph representing the number of mining claims in relation to the years since the Ford government took power presented at a conference Wednesday morning.

Chief Wayne Moonias from Neskantaga says that prior consent from the First Nations has to be given first.

“Unacceptable.  Investors, if you hear this, you’re not going to cross that river system (Attawapiskat River).  You’re not going to access our traditional homelands until you get the free, prior informed consent from our people.  You’re not going to get an okay from the government and not get an okay from us.”

Today’s press conference in Toronto also included representatives from Muskrat Dam and the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (Big Trout Lake) First Nations, all echoing similar concerns.

Later in the day, several of the First Nation leaders were escorted out of the gallery during Question Period for yelling down to MPP’s and demanding a meeting with premier Doug Ford.


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