Premier Kathleen Wynne has officially signed off on a regional framework agreement with the chiefs of the Matawa First Nations to negotiate future development, benefits and environmental safeguards in the Ring of Fire.
Wynne was in Thunder Bay on April 24 for an official signing ceremony.
The agreement finally sets a path and a process for the nine First Nation communities closest to the mineral deposits in the James Bay region to have a say in how mineral and infrastructure development will proceed.
In attendance at the signing ceremony were Chief Sonny Gagnon of Aroland First Nation, Chief Fred Sackaney of Constance Lake First Nation, Chief Elizabeth Atlookan of Eabametoong First Nation, Chief Celia Echum of Ginoogaming First Nation, Chief Allen Towegishig of Long Lake #58 First Nation, Chief Elijah K. Moonias of Marten Falls First Nation, Chief Peter Moonias of Neskantaga First Nation, Chief Johnny Yellowhead of Nibinamik First Nation and Chief Cornelius Wabasse of Webequie First Nation.
Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines, David Zimmer, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, and Bill Mauro, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing also took in the proceedings as did Bob Rae, Matawa negotiator and former Premier of Ontario, and Frank Iacobucci, Ontario's negotiator.