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THUNDER BAY, ON: Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Derek Fox welcomes a Court injunction protecting an area of Ginoogaming First Nation’s sacred land from mineral exploration:
“We are encouraged that the Superior Court has recognized the inherent and Treaty rights of Ginoogaming and has granted an injunction to halt mineral exploration activity in Wiisinin Zaahgi’igan. We acknowledge and congratulate Ginoogaming’s leadership for defending the rights of their Nation and the land that has sustained them for generations.
First Nations are the rights holders when it comes to jurisdiction over the land, and our Treaty partners must honour and respect our inherent rights. The land will be inherited by our children, and it is our sacred responsibility to protect it for their future.
We look to the Government of Ontario to honour its Treaty obligation and do everything possible to engage with the community in a meaningful way. The work Ginoogaming has done has created an opportunity to set a precedent for protecting sacred land.”
The ruling by Ontario Superior Court Judge Susan Vella found that Ontario failed in its constitutional duty to consult with Ginoogaming before issuing a mineral exploration permit in the community’s sacred area. It ordered more consultation between the province and the community before they return to court in January 2022.
Ginoogaming First Nation is located approximately 300 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, Ontario.
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