We are all treaty peoples, and this comes with both rights and responsibilities.
Minister Steven Guilbeault says that he wants to stand for Treaty rights and obligations, for the preservation of the land and the water, and for our common climate future.
But first, he has to listen.
Politicians before Minister Guilbeault have chosen to ignore the diverse and important perspectives in the Indigenous grassroots of Treaty 9, as well as allies across the country who are saying that there’s a lot to be worried about when it comes to the Ring of Fire.
Every government official has staff who brief them on what they need to know in order to make good decisions. How would our world be different if communities got to do the briefing, letting politicians in on what they need to know? It seems that Minister Guilbeault is missing out on some community knowledge about the Ring of Fire. Let’s fix that and help him do his job right by listening.
Help us present Guilbeault with a Treaty Peoples’ Briefing, foregrounding many different voices in this important conversation:
Okay, so why is this needed?
Steven Guilbeault just started a new job as Minister of Environment and Climate Change. One of the first things he said in his new role was:
“The fight against climate change is not possible without [Indigenous peoples’] knowledge and leadership. Any agreement on a path forward must protect the rights of Indigenous peoples. Full stop.”Minister Steven Guilbeault, November 12th, 2021
Just a few months later, he signed off on a document that would reduce Indigenous leadership in decision-making around the Ring of Fire, a massive proposed mining development in Treaty 9 territory, to a mere advisory role.
We believe that Minister Guilbeault has been misinformed about the complexity of the conversation surrounding the Ring of Fire. Now, he has a problem on his hands. We also believe that he’s unaware of just how many allies in the South are willing to stand up for this issue. Perhaps he thinks that the Ring of Fire is just a “niche” concern that only a minority of people care about.
Let’s get the story straight: People throughout Ontario are listening. We care deeply about the protection of the Attawapiskat River and the breathing lands, and we will take action to make sure that Guilbeault fulfills his promises to prioritize the sovereign rights of Indigenous people.
There’s more to the story.
What does Minister Guilbeault need to know about when it comes to the Ring of Fire?
Listen to the grassroots in Treaty 9!
Minister Guilbeault has probably heard that it’s ‘enough’ for elected First Nations leadership to rubber stamp the Ring of Fire projects. But there’s more to the story.
In this video, Mike Koostachin (Attawapiskat First Nation) talks about why it’s important to listen to the grassroots in Treaty 9, and why we must always make decisions with future generations in mind. Click here for a shareable, captioned version of the video.
‘Green mining’ is a false solution!
Minister Guilbeault has probably heard that ‘critical minerals’ are essential in a just transition to a green economy. But there’s more to the story.
In this video, Jamie Kneen (MiningWatch Canada) talks about why so-called ‘green mining’ is a false solution, and why turning Indigenous territories into sacrifice zones can have no place in a just transition. Click here for a shareable, captioned version of the video.
Respect ALL Treaty 9 communities’ connection to the
land and the river!
Minister Guilbeault has probably heard that the Ring of Fire isn’t on the traditional territories of those opposing it. But there’s more to the story.story.
In this video, Chief Wayne Moonias, of Neskantaga First Nation, talks about how integral the river system is to all communities in Treaty 9, and how interconnected these neighbouring communities really are. Click here for a shareable, captioned version of the video.
Free, prior, and informed consent doesn’t come through corporate contracts!
Minister Guilbeault has probably heard that Impact and Benefit Agreements (IBAs) represent the ‘consent’ of Indigenous communities. But there’s more to the story.
Today’s part of the Treaty Peoples’ Briefing comes from Dayna Scott, of Osgoode Law School. In this video, Dayna talks about why free, prior and informed consent cannot be achieved through private contracts that block Indigenous communities from exercising their own governing authority on the land. Click here for a shareable, captioned version of the video.
Jobs don’t erase the cost of mining!
Minister Guilbeault has probably heard that the Ring of Fire will create jobs for Indigenous communities. But there’s more to the story.
The Ring of Fire isn’t the first time mining has impacted Treaty 9. In this video, Gary Quisess, Neskantaga Councillor, talks about the cost of DeBeers’ “Victor Mine” on the ecology, water, and traditional lifeways of surrounding communities. Click here for a shareable, captioned version of the video.
Grassroots to grassroots, allies stand fiercely with Treaty 9!
Minister Guilbeault has probably heard that the concerns of communities in Treaty 9 are theirs alone. But there’s more to the story.
In this video, Kate Klein of the Mining Injustice Solidarity explains the powerful history of solidarity between people in mining-impacted communities and people living in urban centres of the global mining industry. Click here for a shareable, captioned version of the video.
We have to do what’s best for future generations!
Minister Guilbeault has probably heard that Indigenous people support this project. But there’s more to the story.
In this video, Chief Wayne Moonias and Dorothy Sakanee of Neskantaga First Nation talk about their number one priority: continuing their way of life as Anishinaabe peoples so that future generations can live well in relation to the land and the water.
COVID has made free, prior, and informed consent impossible!
Minister Guilbeault has probably heard that the so-called Ring of Fire is essential to our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. But there’s more to the story.
In this video, Chris Moonias, former Chief of Neskantaga First Nation, talks about how the government’s choice to push through with environmental assessment consultations during the COVID-19 pandemic has left many Treaty 9 communities unable to meaningfully have a say. Click here for a shareable, captioned version of the video.
Please, Minister Guilbeault.
There are so many things to consider in making a huge decision like this.
Let’s start fresh in a better way.
Stop the current Ring of Fire regional assessment.
Advocate for clean water, safe housing, and better infrastructure.
Let Indigenous people lead.
We want to take you at your word, Minister Guilbeault. Do the right thing.