The leadership of the Matawa First Nations is expressing disappointment that the federal government is not involved in their negotiations with the province on how mineral development will unfold in Ontario’s Far North.
In a March 6 news release, the Thunder Bay-based tribal council said they’ve been locked in a three-year negotiation with Queen’s Park in mapping out the future economic and social direction of the communities in the area of the Ring of Fire mineral belt.
But the Matawa chiefs council said Ottawa has not gotten involved in this landmark planning process.
“They have said that as a treaty partner, it is imperative that Canada be involved,” said the Matawa release. “Furthermore, they added that Canada cannot delegate their responsibility to Ontario and industries.”
Matawa First Nations is a tribal council providing advisory services and programs to eight Ojibway and Cree First Nations in James Bay Treaty No. 9 and 1 First Nation in the Robinson-Superior Treaty area.
For the fifth year in a row, Matawa will be appearing as exhibitors this week at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada mining convention in Toronto, promoting its communities and its company, Four Rivers Environmental Services Group.
Taking in the show are nine Matawa communities of Constance Lake, Aroland, Ginoogaming, Long Lake #58, Marten Falls, Eabametoong, Nibinamik, Neskantaga and Webequie First Nations.
Matawa said the annual event is an opportunity to gauge industry’s thinking on consultation, corporate social responsibility, social license to operate, mining innovation, and get information on issues that affect their traditional territories through exploration and exploration.