Ring of Fire Updates Writings from Impacted Communities

Media Release: Response to announcement of Ring of Fire road “agreement”

March 4, 2020

Wachiiyeh. The Omushkegowuk Women’s Water Council is a hereditary Council based on the inherent laws of the Omushkegowuk Cree Nation representing the James and Hudson Bay Cree communities in Northern Ontario. We are not under the umbrella of the Canadian government (Indian Act). Please note the Hereditary Leadership recognition from the 1997 Delgamuukw Supreme Court Decision.

It is our understanding that the agreement between the Ontario Government, Marten Falls and Webequie First Nation is ONLY for the study of the proposed road and Environmental Assessment processes. It is NOT an agreement to build the road.

This letter is to inform Canada (Governor General, Ford Government) and the public that the Omushkegowuk Cree communities are downstream from the Ring of Fire belt. We are Title holders and Treaty rights holders as we still use our water systems. Anything that would affect our waterways is an infringement of our Treaty rights. The Omushkegowuk communities have not been fully informed on the entirety of the Ring of Fire proposed mining activities.

The Omushkegowuk Women’s Water Council does not accept any agreements or future agreements that would infringe upon the Treaty and inherent rights of our people and communities, seeing as we are downstream from the Ring of Fire belt. Our communities and Hereditary councils must be included in the discussion process and our Free, Prior, and Informed Consent is required for such a project to be able to proceed.

Canada’s Governor General has a responsibility to uphold and protect the sacred Treaties, and Canada needs to honour the Treaties. We intend to protect our Treaty rights promised to us for as long as the sun shines, as long as the waters flow, as long as the grass grows, and as long as he winds blow.

Yours Truly,

Jennifer Wabano
Omushkegowuk Women’s Water Council

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