Webequie First Nation, one of the communities closest to the dormant Ring of Fire mineral camps, has reached an agreement with the Ontario government to do a community-based land use plan.
A news release from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry said a signing ceremony for the terms of reference was signed in the community on Aug. 21.
The ministry’s land use planning process involves identifying areas that are both suitable and off-limits for resource development.
In a statement, Webequie Chief Cornelius Wabasse wants a partnership with the government that respect their Aboriginal and treaty rights, including having a say on how their lands and resources will be developed.
“Webequie's primary objective is to ensure our community’s interests are protected now and for the future, including our traditional activities and values. We’re hopeful this process will help achieve these goals.”
Five First Nation communities further out from the Ring of Fire; Pikangikum, Cat Lake, Slate Falls, Pauingassi and Little Grand Rapids; have finished their plans.
Six communities have completed their terms of reference in the last 18 months: Marten Falls, Eabametoong and Mishkeegogamang, Deer Lake, Wawakapewin and Constance Lake First Nations.