Almost there’: Ring of Fire talks expected between Ottawa, First Nations this fall – by Naimul Karim (Financial Post – September 05, 2023)

Representatives expected to meet this month to discuss conditions to guide regional assessment

Long-delayed plans to mine the mineral-rich Ring of Fire region in Ontario have taken a step forward as representatives from First Nations and the federal government are expected to meet this month to discuss conditions to guide a regional assessment.

The regional assessment will include large studies to determine the environmental impact of large-scale development in the region. Currently, about 18 First Nations from the area are creating a structure for the assessment, which will form the basis for discussions with the government.

The First Nations are “almost there,” but working on building this structure hasn’t been easy, said Kate Kempton, a lawyer representing several First Nations communities that would be affected by mining in the Ring of Fire.

“It’s very difficult obviously trying to work with upwards of 18 First Nations when there is no formalized sort of precedent to do this,” she said. “It’s just taking time, understandably, to try to bring everybody together … and educating people on what is a regional assessment and the possibilities here.”

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