Fort Albany ‘alarmed’ by Ring of Fire roads deal – by Ron Grech (Timmins Daily News – March 3, 2020)

Chief says agreement made ‘behind the scenes’ without his community’s consent

The chief of Fort Albany First Nation says he was “alarmed” by an announcement made Monday by the Ontario provincial government.

Premier Doug Ford along with Indigenous Relations Minister Greg Rickford announced a partnership with Marten Falls First Nation and Webequie First Nation to develop a Northern Road Link that would create the first continuous all-season road from the provincial highway network to the Ring of Fire.

Fort Albany Chief Leo Metatawabin said under this agreement, the road would be constructed through his First Nation’s traditional territory without his community’s consent.

“It appears that behind the scenes, Ontario, Marten Falls First Nation and Webequie First Nation have been making plans” independent of the neighbouring First Nation communities, said Metatawabin.

“It is deeply concerning that Fort Albany has been excluded from important intergovernmental leadership meetings on a project of this scale, which will have major impacts on its traditional territory,” Metatawabin added.

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