Ring of Fire Warning Issued [by First Nation] – by Kris Ketonen (January 26, 2011)

The Thunder Bay Chronicle is the daily newspaper of Northwestern Ontario. This article was published on January 26, 2011.

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

“As the ring of fire co-ordinator and with support of the leadership and their respective
First Nations, I can truthfully state that no longer will foreign corporations pillage our
lands, wildlife, waters and desecrate our way of life without the inclusion and
maximum benefits for our people.” Raymond Ferris (January 26, 2011)

Matawa First Nations’ new Ring of Fire co-ordinator says the provincial government is handling development in the northern chromite deposit “very badly.”

Raymond Ferris of Constance Lake First Nation began his new job with Matawa on Monday, and said the government and mining companies alike need to do a better job consulting with First Nations as development in the Ring of Fire — a potentially-massive chromite deposit in the James Bay Lowlands — proceeds.

Ferris will be responsible for co-ordinating the relationship between government, the mining industry and First Nations as it pertains to developments in the Ring of Fire.

“So far the First Nations have been acting in good faith, and the governments and industry have been taking advantage of our generosity,” Ferris said during his introduction Tuesday at the Matawa offices in Thunder Bay.

“As the ring of fire co-ordinator and with support of the leadership and their respective First Nations, I can truthfully state that no longer will foreign corporations pillage our lands, wildlife, waters and desecrate our way of life without the inclusion and maximum benefits for our people,” Ferris said.

He said his first task will be to form a working group from the three Matawa member communities in the Ring of Fire in order to start a development strategy.

The creation of the Matawa Ring of Fire co-ordinator position was necessary because Matawa was getting fragmented as it attempted to deal with the matter, CEO David Paul Achneepineskum said.

“It . . . created some confusion with the public, and also our membership, as to who, exactly, was taking the lead,” he said. “The communities, without that leadership, they were going ahead and . . . creating their own strategies without formally working with the other communities.

“I believe that the industry kind of took advantage of that situation,” he said.

For the rest of this article, please go to the Thunder Bay Chronicle website: http://www.chroniclejournal.com/content/news/local/2011/01/26/ring-fire-warning-issued

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