Ring of Fire: First Nations scold Mines Minister Michael Gravelle – by Jody Porter (CBC News Thunder Bay – September 10, 2014)
First Nations ‘grow weary’ of being shut out of decisions
CBC News has obtained letters from several First Nations in the Ring of Fire detailing a breakdown in the relationship with Ontario that could threaten the already fragile mining project.
Chiefs are reacting to the Aug. 28 announcement that the new Ring of Fire Infrastructure Development Corporation was established with an interim board, made up of four senior Ontario civil servants, and no First Nations representatives.
“I am growing weary of your lack of attention to EFN’s [Eabametoong First Nation's] concerns and our clearly stated request to work collaboratively,” wrote Chief Elizabeth Atlookan in an Aug. 29 letter to Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle.
“I know you have heard EFN’s concerns, but the MNDM continued to push this item forward, particularly in the press,” Atlookan wrote.
“So, are we to be ‘key’ partners in this potential development, as your press release states, if EFN’s legitimate requests are being ignored? Not likely.” Gravelle said the Aug. 28 announcement was necessary to meet an election promise, and to appease “other interests.” Read the rest of this entry »