First Nation in northwestern Ontario granted temporary injunction to prevent mineral exploration – by Logan Turner (CBC News Thunder Bay – September 7, 2021)

Court orders province, Ginoogaming First Nation to continue consultation before January court date

A First Nation in Treaty 9 in northwestern Ontario is celebrating a legal win that will see a sacred area in its lands temporarily protected from mineral exploration activities.

A judge with the Ontario Superior Court ruled in favour of Ginoogaming, a First Nation about 300 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, Ont., granting a temporary injunction to stop mining exploration in Wiisinin Zaahgi’igan, a sacred area considered by the First Nation to be its “breadbasket, its church, its heartland, its graveyard and its hospital.”

The injunction is part of a larger legal battle in northwestern Ontario, one that some have said could set a precedent in Canada that would establish the inherent and treaty right of First Nations to protect sacred areas.

Kate Kempton, a partner with OKT Law and lawyer for Ginoogaming, called the decision “a huge relief,” but said their work to safeguard the sacred area was far from over. “We’re not done. This is a preliminary decision,” she told CBC News in an interview.

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