Jailings impede ending of mining dispute: chief

 

Jailings impede ending of mining dispute: chief

 

Copyright (c) 2008 The Hamilton Spectator.

 

TORONTO

 

The incarceration of six northern Ontario aboriginal leaders as part of a dispute with mining company Platinex poses a serious impediment to any fair resolution, Assembly of First Nations Chief Phil Fontaine said yesterday.

 

Fontaine affirmed the leaders from the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation near Thunder Bay are not opposed to development. What the group does oppose is the way in which the deal was managed, he said.

 

"Platinex, because they ignored the rights and interests of this community's traditional lands, and the provincial government's decision to issue the permit to allow exploration to take place without … consultation ," he said.

 

The six were each handed a six-month jail sentence earlier this month for breaching an order that allowed Platinex to drill on their traditional lands unobstructed.