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Ontario, First Nations to Work Together on Ring of Fire

The Province of Ontario and Matawa-member First Nations are taking another step forward by reaching a landmark agreement that will ensure First Nation communities benefit from the proposed Ring of Fire development.

The regional framework agreement is a first step in a historic, community-based negotiation process, which began in July 2013 at the request of Matawa-member First Nations.

The nine Matawa-member First Nations and the Province of Ontario signed a framework agreement today to move forward with a negotiation process on a community-based regional approach to development in the Ring of Fire.

The agreement ensures First Nations and Ontario can work together to advance Ring of Fire opportunities, including regional long-term environmental monitoring and enhanced participation in environmental assessment processes, resource revenue sharing, economic supports, regional and community infrastructure.

Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines, signed the Regional Framework on behalf of Ontario. The chiefs signed on behalf of their communities, which included:

  • Chief Sonny Gagnon, Aroland First Nations
  • Chief Fred Sackaney, Constance Lake First Nation
  • Chief Elizabeth Atlookan, Eabametoong First Nation
  • Chief Celia Echum, Ginoogaming First Nation
  • Chief Elijah Moonias, Marten Falls First Nation
  • Acting Chief, Roy Moonias, Neskantaga First Nation
  • Chief Johnny Yellowhead, Nibinamik First Nation
  • Chief Allen Towegishig, Long Lake #58 First Nation
  • Chief Cornelius Wabasse, Webequie First Nation

An official celebration will take place at a later date. Details to be announced.

Investing in the development of the Ring of Fire is part of Ontario’s economic plan that is creating jobs for today and tomorrow. The comprehensive plan and its six priorities focus on Ontario’s greatest strengths — its people and strategic partnerships.

Matawa Chiefs Council is comprised of the Matawa-Member First Nations Chiefs. The First Nations are located in northern Ontario. Five First Nations are remote and accessible only by air or winter road. Four of the First Nations are drive-in communities. All nine First Nations will be impacted by resource development in the area known as the Ring of Fire.

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