Ontario, First Nations Commit To Ring Of Fire Cooperation
McGuinty Government Supports Effective Consultation With Aboriginal Communities
The Ontario government and two First Nations in proximity of the Ring of Fire in Ontario's Far North have reaffirmed their commitment to addressing issues related to the development of the mineral-rich deposit.
Marten Falls First Nation Chief Eli Moonias and Webequie First Nation Chief Cornelius Wabasse joined Northern Development, Mines and Forestry Minister Michael Gravelle and Natural Resources Minister Linda Jeffrey to sign a Letter of Intent, the first formal step towards a Memorandum of Cooperation for mineral development issues, including land use planning in their traditional land use areas.
The Letter of Intent acknowledges the need to develop a working relationship between the First Nations and the Ontario government, as it relates to potential impacts of the proposed developments on their traditional areas. It builds on previous and ongoing dialogue between the parties to address outstanding concerns around development in the McFaulds Lake area.
- With more than 30 companies exploring in the Ring of Fire, current estimates suggest the possible potential for decades of chromite production, as well as significant production of nickel, copper and platinum.
- Mineral development in the Ring of Fire could mean thousands of direct and indirect permanent jobs, direct and indirect construction jobs over the next five years and significant economic development opportunities for a number of First Nation communities in the region.
- The aboriginal communities of Marten Falls and Webequie are among the First Nation communities that could be most directly impacted by the McFauld's Lake development.
“The fact that we remain engaged with our First Nation partners to address issues around mineral exploration and development on their traditional land use areas speaks to the commitment of all parties to achieving a consensus with respect to benefiting from this enormously promising mineral find. I commend Chief Moonias and Chief Wabasse for taking an important leadership role in securing a more prosperous future for their people.”
“I want to thank Chief Moonias and Chief Wabasse for their leadership on this promising development initiative. The relationship between our government and Marten Falls First Nation and Webequie First Nation is a great example of what we can achieve when we work together. The Ring of Fire will help build a stronger economy and create jobs for First Nations communities in the North.”
“I am delighted at the collaboration of the parties involved as this sets a good example of what's achievable when we work together to promote our common goals around economic development, skills training and job opportunities. I look forward to continuing to build on the good relations with all parties involved.”