First Nations mull legal action, plan protests over Ontario’s online mining claims system – by Brett Forester (CBC News Indigenous – February 1, 2024)

Provincial government rejected request for pause in 2022, won’t say if position has changed

First Nations leaders say they’ll up their protests and consider legal action if the Ontario government refuses to address their concerns with the province’s online system for staking mining claims. A 2018 move to digitize this process, which previously had prospectors physically hammer posts in the ground, has prompted an “unprecedented” and overwhelming surge in claims, the Chiefs of Ontario said last week.

The organization, which advocates for 133 First Nations province-wide, outlined demands for a one-year moratorium on new claims in a letter sent to provincial leaders.

“This moratorium is a result of the ongoing infringement of the inherent, treaty, and constitutional rights of individual First Nations,” wrote Ontario Regional Chief Glen Hare. He added they respected those First Nations that intend to pursue mining.

Chief Rudy Turtle of Grassy Narrows, also known as Asubpeeschoseewagong First Nation, plans to back the proposed pause — plus any direct action and court challenges. “We will support anything that could stall the process or stop it, whether it’s through the courts or whether it’s on the field, with blockades or whatever we need to do,” he said.

For the rest of this article: