Neskantaga takes issue with lack of consultation – by Carl Clutchey (Welland Tribune – December 5, 2021)

Conflicts between remote First Nations and mining interests in the potentially lucrative Ring of Fire mineral belt will persist unless the province takes steps to clarify requirements to consult with Indigenous groups, advocates say.

Neskantaga First Nation is the latest remote community to contend provisions under Ontario’s Environmental Assessment Act (EAA) are inadequate when it comes to scrutinizing potential industrial development — proposed road construction, in this case — on traditional aboriginal lands.

“The EAA lacks a clear statement and guidance on the duty to consult and accommodate with respect to environmental assessments,” a Neskantaga news release said last month.

“This has created an unworkable system where project proponents, from governments to mining companies to other First Nations, are unable to meaningfully consult with affected communities.”

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