Using sex appeal to promote the Ring of Fire doesn’t sit well with the senior leadership of the Matawa First Nations.
Chief David Paul Achneepineskum, CEO of the nine-community tribal council, accused KWG Resources and company president Frank Smeenk of “stooping very low” in attempting to communicate with First Nations in the James Bay region.
“KWG really needs to be more respectful of our leadership and especially our peoples. But certainly we are very insulted on this approach.” KWG Resources of Toronto, a junior exploration firm with chromite claims in the Ring of Fire camp, released a campy promotional video featuring two models in bikini tops and short shorts talking about the mineral potential in the region in early August.
One of the two models, who’s sitting on a swing in cottage country setting, said First Nations are “interested in sharing in the resources.”
Achneepineskum had been attending the Keewaywin Conference, a meeting of 49 First Nation communities, at Taykwa Tagamou Nation near Cochrane, as the video went viral last week through social media.
“It’s very offensive to use that kind of video to try and sell his (Smeenk’s) property. To me, there are proper ways of trying to attract investors and interest in the First Nations in working with him.”
If the video was meant to be a tongue-in-cheek educational video on the Ring of Fire, the message was lost on Achneepineskum.
“Personally, I found the video very insulting. I don’t know what his intentions are but certainly he’s offended a lot of people, not just us but the mining industry.
“Hopefully the next videos that come out will be more tasteful.”
Achneepineskum said Smeenk needs to make more of an effort to carry out “serious and active consultation with the communities.”
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