Chiefs want Ontario to cut support for ‘racist, radical’ industry groups – Wawatay News

by aanationtalk on November 8, 2012758 Views

Wednesday November 7, 2012

A junior mining company that called First Nations “hostile third-party governments” has raised the ire of indigenous leaders across Ontario.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN), the Chiefs of Ontario (COO) and Wahgoshig First Nation called on the Ontario government to withdraw its support of “racist and radical” industry representatives during a press conference in Sudbury Nov. 7.

The chiefs targeted Mining United, a group of junior exploration companies, and the Ontario Prospectors Association (OPA).

“Representatives of this radical association of junior mining groups has waged a racist media campaign against the Wahgoshig First Nation, who are taking a legal and principled position to defend their Treaty and Aboriginal rights, as well as ensuring that Ontario meets its obligations on ‘the duty to consult’ in good faith,” said NAN Grand Chief Harvey Yesno in a press release. “The Province of Ontario and the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines continue to send a misguided message to First Nations by supporting this group.”

At the heart of the controversy is the land dispute between Solid Gold Resources and Wahgoshig. The dispute has come before the courts since the company started an exploration program on Wahgoshig’s traditional lands in 2011 without the First Nation’s knowledge or support. While the first judge to hear the case ruled in favour of Wahgoshig, Solid Gold is expected to bring it before an appeals court in the coming months.

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