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First Nations sue over Treaty 9, raising questions on Ring of Fire – The Narwhal

April 26, 2023

Arguing that resource extraction has violated Indigenous jurisdiction for over a century, the case could stall the Ontario government’s plans to mine the Ring of Fire

Ten northern First Nations launched a lawsuit against the Ontario and federal governments Wednesday, arguing that resource extraction on their territories has infringed upon their jurisdiction for over a century.

The Ontario Superior Court case was filed by Attawapiskat First Nation, Apitipi Anicinapek Nation, Aroland First Nation, Constance Lake First Nation, Eabametoong First Nation, Fort Albany First Nation, Ginoogaming First Nation, Kashechewan First Nation, Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation and Neskantaga First Nation.

The nations are asking a court to find that a long list of federal and provincial laws related to resource extraction are not valid on their territories — and to bar Canadian governments from making any further decisions about how land there could be used. If successful, the case could have massive implications for the Ontario government’s plans to jumpstart mining in the north, particularly in the Ring of Fire region, to dig up raw materials for technology like electric vehicles.

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