Consultation needed before any development in Ring of Fire: Grand Chief – by Joshua Santos (Timmins Times – September 18, 2018)

First Nations want to be involved not, not after the fact.

Mining companies and politicians shouldn’t get too far ahead of themselves discussing development within the Ring of Fire, says the grand chief of a regional First Nations council.

While there has been much talk about its mineral riches, Indigenous communities within that area want more consultation before development begins, says Mushkegowuk Grand Chief Jonathan Solomon.

“We have talked about it in our council, the Mushkegowuk Council with the First Nations communities,” said Solomon. “The legal advice we got from our lawyers is, ‘You have a position now to demand a full involvement in the environment assessment (EA) processes.’”

The council represents seven communities along the James Bay lowlands of Northern Ontario. They are Attawapiskat First Nation, Chapleau Cree, Fort Albany First Nation, Kashechewan First Nation, Missanabie Cree, Moose Cree First Nation and Taykwa Tagamou Fist Nation.

The Ring of Fire, a massive, ore-rich area within the lowlands is touted as potentially the biggest economic boon to this province in 100 years.

It’s rich in palladium, platinum, nickel, diamonds and gold. Most importantly, it has the largest chromite deposit in North America — valued at an estimated $60 billion in economic development.

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