The newly elected chief and council of the Moose Cree First Nation held a press conference in Timmins on Tuesday to declare publicly – in no uncertain terms – that their traditional territory and the resources within it belonged to their people. Not only that, but anyone looking to develop it would need to get prior consent from the Moose Cree people as a whole, not just the band administration.
After a short ceremony performed by an elder, Chief Patricia Faries stood up and officially reaffirmed her First Nation’s declaration that a large swath of land along the southern shore of James Bay and for several hundred kilometres inland is their homeland since time immemorial, and so is theirs by right. The original Homeland Declaration was made in 2008.
“We the Moose Cree people are the original people of this land; the Creator has given us this land as our home. We are Indigenous to this land and we have an inherent right to this land … a right no other government can take from us,” affirmed Chief Faries.
The Moose Cree have a sacred duty to protect that land, continued Faries, as well a treaty with settlers that guarantees that they would always be able to live on and harvest from their land.
“Today, our homeland is being threatened by resource development, including mining, forestry, hydro development and wind energy,” said Faries. “We have long been generous to the newcomers, but the time has come to remind everyone that this is our homeland.
“We are not opposed to all development, but you must get our consent prior to any development occurring in our homeland. We want to implement the spirit of our treaty so we can benefit from the resources in our land and continue as its guardians.”
For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.timminspress.com/2016/08/23/consent-required-to-develop-moose-cree-land-says-chief