Northern Ontario First Nation vows to use its own laws to control traditional lands – by Jody Porter (CBC News Thunder Bay – August 9, 2016)

Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug leaders went to jail in 2008 to prevent mining activity on traditional lands

A northern Ontario First Nation is spelling out the laws it says must be followed when anyone from outside the community takes any action that could affect its traditional lands.

Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, (K.I.) formerly known as Big Trout Lake First Nation issued a ‘Declaration of Sovereignty and Governance and Assertion of Inherent and Treaty Rights’ last week.

The community’s effort to encode its laws was prompted by the jailing of six members of the First Nation’s council in 2008, after they resisted a mining company’s efforts to explore on K.I.’s traditional lands, said Chief James Cutfeet.

“The community of K.I. vowed not to have a similar incident happen again and thereafter the consultation protocol document was developed,” he said.

The Ontario Court of Appeal released the K.I. leaders after they served more than two months in jail.

The incident continues to reverberate within the community, Cutfeet said, especially since the company involved in the dispute recently sent a letter to the First Nation wanting to try working together again.

“In my opinion we could help out if they want to move ahead with a look at the property,” Platinex president James Trussler told CBC News.

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