Wally and Margaret Slipperjack moved into the shack because there was no longer enough room in their Eabametoong First Nation home for their children and grandchildren. There is no running water here and the couple, who are in their 70s, need to cross the small backyard to the house to use the bathroom. The shack does have electricity and a wood stove for heat.
The couple speaks only Ojibway and Andy Yesno, a senior advisor to the band council, translates. Wally Slipperjack said he’s heard about the Ring of Fire, a mineral-rich zone in Ontario’s James Bay lowlands eyed by the provincial government as a potentially $60 billion bonanza.
He’s been invited to meetings about it and he’s heard it’s also supposed to bring jobs, but that’s not what he wants to talk about. He’s concerned about the legalization of marijuana. The band council is still weighing whether to ban or allow it.
This worries Slipperjack because he fears it could make things worse for the young people in his community of about 1,500 people. There are things happening that he says he’s never seen before in this fly-in community about 350 km northeast of Thunder Bay.
That’s how it is here. The immediate and stark realities of life in Eabametoong don’t allow much energy for contemplation of a massive resource development project like the Ring of Fire. It seems more mirage than reality.
For the rest of this article: https://newsinteractives.cbc.ca/longform/eabametoong-ring-of-fire