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Ring of Fire News – December 1, 2012

  • The In Support of Mining blog connects a lot of dots here  “Ontario’s Ring of Fire mineral zone is intriguing for the groups it brings together and the machinations it reveals.  For instance, in an update on its Nakina project drilling program, Debut Diamonds, a KWG affiliate, has announced that Theresa Okimaw-Hall has resigned as a member of its board of directors “as a consequence of her recent employment by the Mushkegowuk Tribal Council as Ring of Fire manager.”  The former chief of Attawapiskat First Nation joined the extended KWG Resources family last year as executive director of Canada Chrome Corporation, a KWG offshoot dedicated to the development of a rail line that would serve future mines in Ontario’s Ring of Fire mineral zone.  Her task was to work with the region’s First Nation communities “to reach an agreement for a shared ownership of the proposed railway,” the company said in announcing her appointment.  When coupled with other news coming out of the Ring, her appointment as Mushkegowuk’s Ring of Fire manager suggests there may be something positive afoot in the benighted mineral zone ….”  Source
  • Aboriginal leader on “toll road to the Ring of Fire” idea:  whatchoo talkin’ ‘bout Willis?  “Nishnawbe Aski Nation deputy grand chief says that First Nations will not allow Ontario and the companies involved in the Ring of Fire to build a private road to the development without connecting communities of the region.  Les Louttit called Ontario’s plan to subsidize a private road from Nakina to the Ring of Fire that would provide industry a way to get ore from the mines to market, but not connect to First Nations along the route, ‘totally wrong’.  “That cannot be allowed to happen and we will make sure as a political organization that we pressure the government and industry that any transportation corridor that is going to go into the Ring of Fire development will have to have open access to the communities,” Louttit told Wawatay News.   “It will be going close by Aroland, Eabametoong, Neskantaga, Marten Falls and Webequie,” he added. “It doesn’t make economic sense, it doesn’t make moral sense and it’s just not going to happen that way.”  ….” Sourcemoremore from the In Support of Mining blog
  • Sort and sweet advice from legal beagles on changes to Ontario’s Mining Act and dealing with First Nations  “Changes to Ontario’s Mining Act (“Act”)1 and regulations2 which came into force on November 1, 2012 will have a substantial impact on Ontario’s mining industry …. our advice remains: build a relationship with Aboriginal communities by engaging early and often, and when the time comes, be prepared to make a deal ….”  Source
  • Aboriginal columnist on consultation, sharing resource revenues and mining  “…. The Supreme Court has ruled that governments in Canada have a constitutional duty to consult and accommodate aboriginal groups when making decisions that could adversely affect lands and resources within a First Nation’s traditional territory.  The Harper government and First Nations are on a collision course. The government wants to make Canada a major exporter of natural resources. First Nations, however, are claiming title and want serious consultation and resource revenue sharing. The courts seem to be moving in that direction.  The federal government must follow up with public policy and legislation that implement the principles embodied in the court decisions. First Nations must be included as serious players in the resource industry.  This includes resource revenue sharing, meaningful consultation, equity in resource companies and seats on boards of directors.  The old days of limited consultation and the vague promise of jobs and training are long gone.  Unfortunately, most members of the public can’t or won’t accept the fact that aboriginal people hold tremendous power and are not afraid to use it. Court decisions have empowered our people, and we can expect more legal challenges and unrest in the future ….”  Source
  • Ontario’s spending money to hire mental health and addictions workers to help Ring of Fire communities  “Ontario is increasing access to culturally-appropriate mental health and addictions services for Aboriginal children and young people in the Ring of Fire communities through new mental health and addictions workers.  Through the Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, these new workers will provide counseling, individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, and a range of traditional health services, including traditional teachings and ceremonies to Eabametoong, Marten Falls, Neskantaga, Nibinamik and Webequie First Nations communities.  Investing in community and social supports is part of the McGuinty government’s commitment to ensuring that Ring of Fire communities have the social, community and economic development supports they need to benefit fully from mineral development opportunities.  Quick Facts – Ontario is investing $375,000 annually for mental health and addictions workers in Ring of Fire communities.  Ontario is adding more than 80 new mental health and addictions workers across the province to help almost 4,000 Aboriginal children and young people get better access to culturally appropriate mental health and addictions services ….”  Source – more details here (with a breakdown of how many workers are being deployed in the province-wide initiative) as part of a province-wide announcement heremoremore

More open source information (excerpts from information monitored 1-30 Nov 12 (PDF) here. All information shared here in accordance with the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act. The blog is not responsible for the accuracy of the source material, and inclusion of material doesn’t mean endorsement.

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