Ring of Fire Updates Weekly News Roundup

June 14-20, 2022: Weekly News Roundup

Last week, the annual Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada convention took place in Toronto, which meant news from the mining industry, from grassroots environmental justice movements in Toronto, and from Indigenous leadership figuring out how to navigate the question of mining in a good way. On June 11th and 12th, the Matawa Chiefs Council met in Toronto to discuss how to work collaboratively and “focus on the ‘big picture’ of multiple projects throughout shared lands”. No final decisions have resulted from these conversations.

A few days later, the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network held a rally alongside a number of other grassroots groups outside of the PDAC convention, bringing together interwoven struggles for sovereignty regarding mining projects, and speaking out against the mining industry’s ‘greenwashing‘ rhetoric. Chief Wayne Moonias of Neskantaga First Nation spoke at the rally about the challenges of living under a constant boil water advisory. “My 24 years old daughter never had clean drinking water,” Moonias said. “Those are the stuff we have to deal with as a community. And they want to build a road through our territory without consultation, without accommodation, without our consent. That’s why we are here. We want to be heard.” Last week, Neskantaga First Nation surpassed 10,000 days under their drinking water advisory.

June 14, 2022 (NetNewsLedger):

Matawa Chiefs’ Council seeks work on regional approach to Ring of Fire

“Chiefs of the Matawa First Nations of Northern Ontario announced today they are working towards solidifying a regional approach to the federal Impact Assessment (IA) in the Ring of Fire. This announcement was made during the Matawa Chiefs Council’s participation in the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s 2022 convention which was hosted in person in Toronto from June 13-15 and online from June 28-29.” Read more here…

June 14, 2022 (Newmarket Today):

Rally calls for environmental accountability of mining companies

For almost two hours, a large crowd of community leaders blocked Front Street in downtown Toronto to protests against the negative impact on workers and the environment from the operations of major mining companies around the world

“Representatives from communities impacted by mining projects in Colombia, the Philippines, Nunavut and the “Ring of Fire” region in Northern Ontario protested Monday outside the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s annual conference, a large event that attracts more than 1,000 exhibitors, 2,500 investors and 23,000 attendees. 

The Mining Injustice Solidarity Network, organizers of the rally, explained that the Ring of Fire is a proposed project covering a 5,000 square kilometre area in Northern Ontario that’s estimated to contain massive quantities of chromite, nickel and copper, among other critical minerals’ needed for the production of electric vehicles and other “green” technologies.” Read more here…

June 15, 2022 (The Sudbury Star):

Mushkegowuk, Matawa call for regional assessment of the Ring of Fire

“The Mushkegowuk Council of Chiefs have announced their support for the Matawa First Nations Chiefs and Councils in ensuring a strong regional assessment for the potential Ring of Fire mining development. The commitment was made after a joint meeting held in Toronto on Tuesday. Mushkegowuk Council Grand Chief Alison Linklater expressed her appreciation for the historic meeting.

‘We look forward to increasing cooperation between our First Nations on a regional assessment to look at the cumulative impacts from the proposed mining developments in the Ring of Fire,’ the Grand Chief said after the meeting. ‘We call on the Governments of Canada and Ontario to respect our Inherent and Treaty Rights to manage the impacts of mining on our lands and waters.'” Read more here…

June 20, 2022 (CBC):

Neskantaga First Nation surpasses 10,000 days under a drinking water advisory. “Every time we fix something… something else breaks,” chief’s advisor says as community hits grim milestone

“Neskantaga First Nation on Sunday marked its 10,000th day under a drinking water advisory, the longest period of time any First Nation in Canada has lived under such an advisory.

The community of around 300 people approximately 450 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, Ont., has survived without safe, clean tap water for more than 27 years. “It’s very disheartening to see… especially young kids getting rashes, getting sores, being bandaged up when they are exposed to the untreatable water that comes into their homes,” Chief Wayne Moonias told Radio-Canada Saturday.

The current drinking water problems date back to the early 1990s, when the First Nation relocated from its original reserve at Lansdowne House, a former Hudson’s Bay Company trading post, because the swampy land limited expansion of the community, explained Chris Moonias, a former chief of the community and an advisor to the current chief.” Read more here…

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