A blockade of the Mary River iron mine continued into its fifth day, as a group of hunters opposed to the mine’s expansion demanded they be recognized as an Inuit association and be paid a portion of the royalties the mine generates.
“We would like to see actual negotiations with the most impacted communities and have us involved right away,” said Naymen Inuarak, one of the hunters currently at the Mary River mine site, in an interview via satellite phone. “We’ve been ignored way too long.”
Late last Thursday, a group of seven hunters from Arctic Bay and Pond Inlet arrived at the mine site and shut down the airstrip and road that leads to Milne Inlet, in protest of the mine’s Phase 2 expansion.
There are more than 700 employees at the Mary River project who are affected by the blockades, according to a Baffinland news release issued Monday.
The closure of the airstrip means that all transfers of employees and contractors and all food and supply flights have been suspended.
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