A First Nation is taking the Ontario government and gold explorers to court to prevent mining activity on 260 square kilometres of the Nation’s territory.
On Tuesday, Ginoogaming First Nation went to the Ontario Superior Court seeking an injunction against mining activities until the Nation can argue its full legal rights.
At stake is a sacred area of land in Ginoogaming territories known as Wiisinin Zaahgi’igan, which roughly translates to English as “the place where you get food.” But the Nation says it is much more than that.
“It is a cultural keystone area that’s described by First Nation members as their heart and soul,” said Kate Kempton, a lawyer for the Nation, in a phone interview. “They exercise their rights, worship and commune with the land and the Creator there.
“This is not a case where it’s ok to do some things in various spots as long as you leave a bit of a buffer around places that can’t be touched; the entire area, if interfered with by industrial activity, would be broken apart and break the First Nation.”