Archive | Aboriginal and Inuit Mining and Oil/Gas

EDITORIAL: Thumbs up for mining protocol (Winnipeg Sun – June 20, 2018)

A new protocol unveiled by the Pallister government designed to guide future mining projects, including their impact on First Nations, is a good example of what reconciliation should look like.

Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen announced the Manitoba-First Nations Mineral Development protocol on Friday. It grants First Nations the authority to decide whether they want mining projects on their land and provides them with a more equitable share of revenues generated from those projects.

Ron Evans, a former chief of Norway House Cree Nation, was the co-chair of the protocol report. He says he’s encouraged to see government’s commitment to getting input from Indigenous communities on mining projects. Continue Reading →


Working Together to Build a Brighter Future In the North: Pedersen

To view a copy of the co-chairs’ report, visit

The Manitoba government has released the Co-chairs’ Report on the Manitoba–First Nations Mineral Development Protocol, which includes key findings and recommendations on ways to create certainty in order to advance mineral development projects in a timely way, Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen and Indigenous and Northern Relations Minister Eileen Clarke announced today, along with co-chairs Ron Evans, former chief of Norway House Cree Nation, and Jim Downey, former Manitoba deputy premier and cabinet minister.

“We are pleased to receive the report and recommendations,” said Pedersen. “A new protocol will create certainty for all parties including First Nations, industry and government, and help ensure First Nations can be actively involved in all phases of mineral development to create and share in the benefits of growth in this sector. Thank you to the co-chairs for their dedication in developing this framework.” Continue Reading →

New mining protocol unearths optimism – by Martin Cash (Winnipeg Free Press – June 16, 2018)

More involvement of First Nations among identified priorities

The province has released its long-anticipated First Nations Mineral Development Protocol, which is hoped to end some of the uncertainties that have dogged the industry in Manitoba.

The report, co-written by former Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs grand chief Ron Evans and former deputy premier of Manitoba Jim Downey, includes seven priority areas to be addressed.

They include common-sense issues such as better communication with First Nations about potential mineral exploration projects and more expeditious response from government regarding regulatory action it needs to take during mineral development projects. Priority areas also include a call for revenue-sharing and for First Nations to become engaged in more substantial economic partnerships with the mining companies. Continue Reading →

‘Avatar’ tribe poses second challenge to Vedanta after deadly India protests -by Krishna N. Das and Jatindra Dash (Reuters U.S. – June 12, 2018)

LANJIGARH, India (Reuters) – After an Indian state shut a copper smelter run by Vedanta Resources following deadly protests, the company faces another challenge 1,000 miles away, where axe-toting tribesmen and environmentalists have joined forces to demand the closure of an alumina refinery.

An alliance of activists and local people have for years blocked London-listed Vedanta’s plans to mine bauxite in the green, jungle-clad Niyamgiri hills of eastern Odisha state, which the tribespeople consider sacred.

The killing by police of 13 people protesting against the copper smelter in Tamil Nadu, to the south, has given fresh impetus to their campaign to also close the Odisha refinery run by the company’s Indian unit, Vedanta Ltd. The company is seeking to expand the plant. Continue Reading →

Beware the eco-colonialist, First Nations chiefs warned – by Fabian Dawson (SeaWestNews – June 12, 2018)

Sea West News

10,000-year journey that is just bearing fruit threatened by foreign funded activism says Calvin Helin, a leading authority on economic independence for First Nations

First Nations leaders in BC should be wary of activists who are trying to gain their support to stop energy and natural resource projects in Canada, warns Calvin Helin, a leading authority on economic independence for First Nations.

Describing the activists as “eco-colonialists”, Helin (pictured left) a First Nations entrepreneur, lawyer, and best-selling author said the groups are being funded by massive American foundations, whose only interest is to control Canadian energy and natural resources. Continue Reading →

‘Momentous’: Vale gives green light to Voisey’s Bay mine expansion – by Holly McKenzie-Sutter (Globe and Mail – June 12, 2018)

“More than half of the work force in the remote area accessible
by plane is Inuit or Innu, while more than 80 per cent of
contracts are with Indigenous-owned and operated businesses.”

Brazilian mining company Vale says it will proceed with construction of an underground mine at Voisey’s Bay, N.L., extending operations by at least 15 years and creating 1,700 jobs. Construction is to begin this summer and take about five years.

“A great day for Newfoundland and Labrador and a great day for Vale,” Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball said in St. John’s, N.L. Also on hand for what Ball declared a “momentous” announcement was Vale executive Eduardo Bartolomeo, Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady and former premiers Clyde Wells, Brian Tobin and Roger Grimes.

Once operational, Ball estimates the underground mine will create an additional 1,700 jobs in the mine and at the Long Harbour, N.L., processing plant. Continue Reading →

Treaty annuities need to be updated – by Doug Cuthand (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – June 9, 2018)

The process of collecting treaty money is a longtime custom that cements our relationship with the Crown, our past and the future, but it too must be updated to reflect current reality, writes Doug Cuthand.

Once the treaties were signed and our people placed on reserves, time stood still.

The implementation and even the recognition of the treaties was ignored. In the numbered treaties that stretch across the prairies and contain a land mass greater that western Europe, we were promised health care, education, social programs, economic development and an annual annuity of $5 per person

Education rights became boarding schools; health was epidemics of smallpox and other diseases; social assistance became starvation and famine, and the $5 annuity remained $5 for 150 years. Continue Reading →

U.S. Interior Department weighs plan to save Navajo coal plant from closing – by Valerie Volcovici and Scott DiSavino (Reuters U.S. – June 6, 2018)

(Reuters) – The U.S. Interior Department may use executive powers to prevent a large coal-fired power plant from shutting down next year in Arizona, the latest attempt by the Trump administration to throw a lifeline to at-risk coal and nuclear plants.

The head of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation said on Friday that a 1968 law gives Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke power to require an Arizona water project to buy energy from the Navajo Generating Station, or NGS, a 2,250-MW coal-fired power plant that is scheduled to close in 2019. Such a move could delay the plant’s closure.

The proposal fits neatly with a broader effort by the administration of President Donald Trump to keep aging coal and nuclear plants from retirement, arguing their closure would constitute a threat to national energy security. Continue Reading →

How the election could change who gets a share of resource revenues – by Jon Thompson ( – June 6, 2018)

The relationship between First Nations, the mining industry, and the province remains strained — but there’s hope that progress can be made after June 7

THUNDER BAY — For the first time in Ontario election history, every major party is running on a promise to share natural resource revenue with First Nations.

The relationship between First Nations, mining interests, and the province remains fraught and consultations can be strained, but the tenor of the conversation has changed: Ontario has gone from jailing First Nations leaders over grassroots protests to sitting at the negotiating table with them to work out resource-sharing deals.

In 2008 an Ontario Superior Court decision jailed the leadership of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation (KI) — a fly-in community located 600 kilometres north of Thunder Bay. KI had expressed strong opposition to a mining company called Platinex drilling on its traditional territory, which had happened since 2001. Continue Reading →

Sudbury Accent: Northern Ontario being strangled [Part 1 of 5] – by Stan Sudol (Sudbury Star – June 2, 2018)

On June 7, the people of Ontario will be going to the polls in one of the most pivotal elections in the province’s history. While Northern Ontario – north of the French and Mattawa rivers, as I have never recognized the Parry Sound and Muskoka ridings as being part of the North – encompasses roughly 90 per cent of the province’s land mass, its population has been steadily declining to slightly over five per cent of Ontario’s total.

Unfortunately, our impact on provincial policies is almost negligible.

A buck a beer, cheaper gas, tax breaks combined with unaffordable infrastructure and social commitments, twinning the trans-Canada in Northern Ontario, buying back Hydro One and jumping on a bulldozer to start building the road into the Ring of Fire are part of a bevy of mostly worthy but unsustainable promises Conservative Doug Ford, Liberal Kathleen Wynne and NDP Andrea Horwath have made.

However, I seldom hear any actual policy initiatives to grow the economy and create wealth so we can afford all these election initiatives and perhaps, just perhaps, put a little money on our provincial debt, which has more than doubled during the past 15 years under the McGuinty/Wynne Liberal era, from about $138 billion in 2003-04 to $325 billion today and growing. Continue Reading →

Sudbury Accent: A slow road to the Ring [Part 2 of 5] – by Stan Sudol (Sudbury Star – June 4, 2018)

Let’s be brutally honest and frank. Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne and her mines minister, Michael Gravelle, have utterly failed in moving the Ring of Fire forward, which is located in the isolated James Bay lowlands about 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay.

For slightly more than five years, they have not been able to get shovels in the ground for an essential road into the most promising mineral discoveries in Canada since the Sudbury Basin in 1883, which was found during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

By coincidence, it took a bit less than five years to build the entire CPR in the early 1880s from Ontario to Vancouver – a distance of roughly 4,200 kilometres. The distance between the Ring and the provincial highway system is about 280 kms.

But to cut both of these politicians some political slack, enormous blame must also be given to the previous Harper and current Trudeau governments, as well. First Nations are primarily a federal responsibility – though that doesn’t prevent the province from stepping in if there is a dire need of some sort. Continue Reading →

Sudbury Accent: How do we pay for all of this? [Part 5 of 5] – by Stan Sudol (Sudbury Star – June 6, 2018)

The gulf between Northern Ontario’s needs and the ability of politicians and bureaucrats to address them has never been wider. There was time, so very long ago, when a northern politician like the legendary Leo Bernier could impress the premier to resolve the region’s many unique issues.

Those times are long gone and Northern Ontario’s MPPs seem to play second fiddle to a very powerful and media savvy environmental movement, who have no problems riding roughshod over the region’s needs or just don’t have the political clout at Queen’s Park to address their issues. The Ministry of Northern Development and Mines is a very small ministry.

Half in jest, I often wonder if the North needs to establish an embassy somewhere adjacent to the legislature – the disconnection really is that bad.

When Canada hit the debt wall in the mid-1990s and global financial markets were basically calling our currency a “northern peso,” then Prime Minister Jean Chretien made the shockingly brave political choice to treat the voters like intelligent adults and talk honestly about the need to address the nation’s critical financial state. Continue Reading →

The Robinson Huron Treaty Trust – Final Arguments undertaken on Robinson Annuity Treaty Cases. (Sault On Line – June 5, 2018)


SUDBURY – 40 members of the Batchewana First Nation travelled to Sudbury Monday, to witness the final arguments for the Robinson Huron Treaty (RHT) Annuity case.

Batchewana is one of the 21 Anishinabek Nations with annuitants under the RHT. The case has been ongoing since September 2017 and centres around the annuity provision of the RHT where the First Nations were promised an increase to their share of revenue from the sale of the natural resources from their lands. The annuity is currently set at $4 per year and has not increased since 1874 from the original amount of $1.60 per person.

Batchewana has always been an advocate of the RHT starting with the ‘Mica Bay incident’, a celebrated story that is still told by the Indigenous Elders and commercial fishers of the First Nation. Continue Reading →

Goldcorp signs impact and benefit agreement with Indigenous communities – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – June 6, 2018)

Brunswick House, Chapleau Cree and Chapleau Ojibwe First Nations will benefit from miner’s Borden Gold project

Goldcorp has signed an impact and benefit agreement (IBA) with three First Nations, marking a big step forward in the development of its Borden Gold project near the town of Chapleau. In a June 6 news release, the company said it had signed an agreement with the Indigenous communities of Brunswick House, Chapleau Cree and Chapleau Ojibwe First Nations.

The company said the agreement is the result of two years of negotiations with the three communities and marks a major milestone, as this is the first time the three First Nations are involved with a mining project.

Under the agreement, Goldcorp recognizes and respects the rights and interests these First Nations have around the Borden project site, and the three First Nation communities recognize and support Goldcorp’s rights and interests in the development and future operation of the mine. Continue Reading →

Marten Falls, Webequie deny ‘closed door’ approach in all-weather road agreements (CBC News Thunder Bay – June 4, 2018)

Neskantaga and Eabametoong say they aren’t being consulted over proposed Ring of Fire projects

Two northern Ontario Indigenous communities are calling on the province to “re-set” the process governing mining development in the Ring of Fire, saying they aren’t being properly consulted.

In a media release issued last week, Neskantaga and Eabametoong say “the approach the Wynne government is taking to roads in the Ring of Fire is a scandal and could be a nail in the coffin for our Aboriginal rights and way of life,” calling the process unreasonable and unfair.

Neskantaga and Eabametoong are among the nine Indigenous communities that signed an agreement with the province in 2014, which was to be a guideline for development in the Ring of Fire, a major deposit of chromite and other minerals in the James Bay Lowlands, about 575 kilometres north of Thunder Bay. Continue Reading →