Despite the PC government trumpeting the fact it has two nearby First Nations — Marten Falls and Webequie — on board with its plans for the Ring of Fire, the former’s Chief warns the project will continue to struggle to come to fruition if the province can’t draw more FN support.
Many of the other seven Matawa First Nations — which were recently recognized by the Chiefs of Ontario as having the final say over the project — are either skeptical or actively oppose Ring of Fire mining development, their stance casting a dark cloud over its future.
During a panel discussion hosted by the Empire Club about progress on the Ring of Fire, Marten Falls Chief Bruce Achneepineskum warned his fellow panellists, including Mining Minister George Pirie, that if the concerns of those communities are not addressed, the Ring of Fire will remain stalled.
“My question to the government is: why not start a process [to get them to come to the table]? Because, as I see it, if we don’t have the willing participation from other communities in the nearby area, things will be delayed and even halted,” said Achneepineskum.