This week the CBC shared more of the critique of Bill 197 from Matawa Chiefs Council that we heard last week. In this article we also learned that two separate legal actions will be launched against Bill 197 by a number of different stakeholders impacted by the government’s attempt to “gut the Environmental Assessment Act”.
In other news, a four-day ceremonial gathering of Indigenous peoples was held this week on Whitefish Island, to discuss the potential impacts of the proposed ferrochrome smelter in Sault Ste. Marie (which, if you’re not already aware, would process the minerals extracted from the Ring of Fire).
September 2, 2020 (Soo Today):
Water protectors look at new moves to oppose ferrochrome smelter in Sault Ste. Marie
Group gathers on Whitefish Island for ceremonial gathering; organizers say Noront’s ferrochrome processing facility isn’t just an Indigenous issue
“A four-day ceremonial gathering of Indigenous peoples on Whitefish Island this week aimed to provide a forum on water protection, treaty rights and the environmental impacts of establishing a ferrochrome processing plant in Sault Ste. Marie.
A number of those in attendance worked to establish a sacred fire and sweat lodge while making a bundle – a collection of items considered sacred by the Anishinabek – for the protection of the water.” Read more here…
September 5, 2020 (CBC):
Ontario using COVID-19 as a ‘smokescreen’ to trample treaty rights, chiefs say
First Nations prepare legal challenge to Bill 197
“Ontario’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act won’t withstand a constitutional challenge, says the lawyer representing First Nations – including some in Treaty 9 territory – who are poised to take legal action against Bill 197, which passed into law in July. Part of the omnibus bill makes changes to the province’s Environmental Assessment Act “to ensure strong environmental oversight while reducing delays on infrastructure projects that matter most to Ontario communities,” according to the government. But those changes violate constitutionally protected Aboriginal and treaty rights, said Kate Kempton of Olthuis, Kleer Townshend, the firm that is preparing the court action on behalf of First Nations.” Read more here…