Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug Protects Watershed and sets Consultation Protocol through Referendum

Immediate Release                       July 6, 2011


Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug Protects Watershed and sets Consultation Protocol through Referendum

Big Trout Lake, ON – Yesterday Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) voted overwhelmingly in favour of protecting our entire watershed from all industry activity, and approving KI Consultation Protocol which sets out how KI consent will be given prior to any decision being made affecting our KI’s lands and resources.

KI citizens voted in the community custom-based referendum with over 96% of ballots cast in favour of the KI Watershed and the KI Consultation Protocol, according to first count results.   The two documents will now be brought into force by KI Chief and Council through a Band Council Resolution along with a spiritual ceremony and blessings of the results.  The documents will become part of KI’s indigenous laws, and KI calls on outside governments and corporations to recognize and respect them.

“The KI Watershed Declaration and the KI Consultation Protocol will give us a new mandate to foster dialogue with governments and corporations and as well as open up new opportunities in the areas of economic development, environmental sustainability and off-reserve issues,” said Chief Donny Morris.

The KI Watershed Declaration applies to a vast 13,025 square kilometer area of lakes, rivers, forest, and wetlands in KI Homeland including 661 square kilometer Big Trout Lake.  It states: “We declare all waters that flow into and out of Big Trout Lake, and all lands whose waters flow those lakes, rivers, and wetlands, to be completely protected our continued care under KI’s authority, laws and protocols…No industrial uses, or other uses which disrupt, poison, or otherwise harm our relationship to these lands and waters will be permitted.”

Activities affecting KI’s lands and resources must only proceed with KI’s free, prior and informed consent.  The Consultation Protocol sets out how KI consent will be given freely, where KI are fully informed of the consequences, prior to any decision making made and according to KI’s own laws and decision-making processes.

Six KI leaders including Chief Morris were jailed in 2008 for preventing Platinex from exploring on our Homeland; activities we feared could contaminate the Big Trout Lake.  After massive public outcry an appeals court released the jailed KI leaders and in 2009 the province bought out Platinex claims and promised never to develop them without our KI support.


John Cutfeet,  KI Spokesperson (807) 537-2054 or (807) 738-0935