NEWS RELEASE: Anishinabek have treaty rights to share mining revenues

SUDBURY, ON, Nov. 19, 2013 /CNW/ – Anishinabek Nation citizens have a treaty right to share in Ontario’s $11 billion mining industry.

“We have determined that 60 per cent of mining resources in Ontario are located on our traditional lands,” says Lake Huron Regional Chief Isadore Day, Windawtegowinini. “Currently we receive no taxes or benefits from mining on our traditional to treaty territories. Municipalities get 15-22 per cent of the taxation mining revenue and we get nothing.”

Last year Ontario received $147 million from its 10 per cent mining tax, Chief Day told participants in a mining workshop attended by Chiefs and leaders from Lake Huron Regional First Nations.

Chief Day says that First Nations in Ontario should also get their fair share of procurement contracts and jobs related to mining activity on their traditional territories.

“The typical mine in Ontario spends 44 per cent of its annual sales on procurement. This represents a huge opportunity for us. Right now only 10 per cent of mining jobs are held by our people.”

Chief Day, Serpent River First Nation, reminded participants that Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution guarantees existing Aboriginal and Treaty rights and defines them to include “rights that now exist by way of land claims agreements or may be so acquired”.

He said the 1850 Robinson Huron Treaty recognized that First Nations had mineral rights in their territory, “…and should the said Chiefs and their respective Tribes at any time desire to dispose of any mineral or other valuable production thereon, the same will be will be sold or leased at their request…for their sole benefit, and to their best advantage.”

“First Nations must take the lead and have a say in what happens in their traditional and treaty territories,” he said. “I’m calling on my fellow treaty Chiefs; it’s time to formally assemble, design and organize our interests as a treaty organization specific to issues like mining.

“Far too long has the mining industry and the Crown not been held to task on treaty obligations. We must develop a secretariat, respond and enforce the Robinson Huron Treaty of 1850.”

The Anishinabek Nation established the Union of Ontario Indians as its secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 39 member communities across Ontario, representing approximately 55,000 people. The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact.

SOURCE Anishinabek Nation

For further information:

Marci Becking, Communications Officer
Phone : 1-877-702-5200 ext. 2290
Email : [email protected]
Follow us on Twitter Facebook YouTube

For original version, click here:

One Response to NEWS RELEASE: Anishinabek have treaty rights to share mining revenues

  1. J Smith November 21, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

    Problem with misquoted Treaty.

    Unfortunately, this is misquoted and quoted out of context. The actual idea to this quote, is the disposition of mining rights on lands designated as “Reserve” lands.The actual wording reads :
    ……………”And should the said Chiefs and their respective Tribes at any time desire to dispose of any part of such reservations, or of any mineral or other valuable productions thereon, the same will be sold or leased at their request by the Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs for the time being, or other officer having authority so to do, for their sole benefit, and to the best advantage”……………kinda changes the idea

    For all other land covered by the Robinson Huron treaty, all of the signatory Chiefs promised and swore ”
    ………on behalf of their respective Tribes or Bands, do hereby fully, freely, and voluntarily surrender, cede, grant, and convey unto Her Majesty, her heirs and successors for ever, all their right, title, and interest to, and in the whole of, the territory above described, save and except the reservations set forth in the schedule hereunto annexed:…………..

    And most important in the context of mining:

    ………….”Nor will they at any time hinder or prevent persons from exploring or searching for minerals, or other valuable productions, in any part of the Territory hereby ceded to Her Majesty, as before mentioned.”……………..

    The effect of these sections is quite clear. I can not fathom arriving at such different interpretation. I hate to nit-pick, but massaging the original text sort of detracts from Chief Day’s platform, if these words in fact are properly quoted in the article

    Cheers : Joseph