Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations assert their traditional claim to the Ring of Fire – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – March 18, 2022)

Communities welcome regional input but insist they’ll steer the federal Regional Assessment process

Two First Nation communities in the James Bay region are drawing a line in the sand to make it clear that the mineral-rich Ring of Fire sits within their traditional territory.

The leadership of Marten Falls and Webequie insist if an upcoming federal environmental assessment to study the impacts of mining in the Far North is to be an Indigenous-led process, they’ll be the ones leading it, “without exception.”

In a March 17 joint news release, the two communities struck a diplomatic and respectful but firm tone in asserting their traditional territorial claims to the prospective world-class mining camp, located 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay.

In recent weeks and months, there have been increasing calls from outlying First Nation communities, environmental groups, as well as Marten Fall’s and Webequie’s own tribal council, demanding a reboot to Ottawa’s Regional Assessment process, first initiated in February 2020.

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