Framework agreement between Matawa, Ontario ‘stalled’ MPP says – by Matt Prokopchuk (CBC News Thunder Bay – September 27, 2018)

Kiiwetinoong MPP Sol Mamakwa called for resumption of meetings between chiefs, ministers

An agreement that was supposed to guide negotiations between Ontario and nine First Nations that surround the Ring of Fire in northern Ontario has “stalled,” according to an opposition member of the legislature.

Kiiwetinoong MPP Sol Mamakwa spoke during Question Period on Thursday, and probed why the Progressive Conservative government “hasn’t engaged with the Matawa chiefs since [the] election.”

“Eabametoong First Nation chief [Elizabeth] Atlookan is here today,” the New Democrat member said. “Will the premier direct the Minister of Indigenous Affairs, not to get on the bulldozer, but to meet with Chief Atlookan today to begin the dialogue.”

The regional framework agreement was established in 2014 by the previous Liberal government and was designed to put a negotiation process in place between Ontario and the nine Matawa communities for proposed development in the Ring of Fire, located about 575 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, in the James Bay lowlands.

The office of Premier Doug Ford responded to a letter of congratulations sent by the Matawa chiefs on Aug. 9, saying that Indigenous Affairs Minister Greg Rickford would respond “as soon as possible.” “Yet, no meetings have been scheduled,” Mamakwa said.

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