KI First Nation wants government to stop mining exploration on their lands
Wed, Nov. 16, 2011
The province says it will speak with an exploration company that's looking for minerals near the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation, even though talks between the government and K.I. about the community's issues with mining companies broke off.
K.I. said the talks ended this week because the government could not promise exploration will stop while meetings about a proposed Ontario-K.I. joint panel are underway.
Natural Resources minister Michael Gravelle said government officials have promised to follow up.
“They committed to Chief Morris and to Kitchuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation that they would go back to the company, to God's Lake Resources and convey to them very clearly the position of the First Nation,” he said.
But John Cutfeet wants more than talk. The spokesperson for K.I. said somebody in the government must have the power to halt mining exploration.
"Well, I find it hard to imagine that the Assistant Deputy Minister of Mining and Northern Development can come up and say that they don't have any legal authority to be able to withdraw these claims."
K.I. has already issued an eviction notice to God's Lake Resources. The community's leaders say there are sacred graves within the claims area.
In a news release last month, the company said it had attempted unsuccessfully to enter into consultations with K.I. God's Lake Resources said that under the Mining Act, it has two years to carry out and report work on its claims, and that if work is not reported, the claims expire.