Northern Ontario Mining Dispute between Platinex Inc. and Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation
by admin ~ January 15th, 2007
The Ontario Provincial government seeks intervenor status in a mining and treaty dispute between Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) First Nation and Platinex Inc. in northern Ontario. In July, 2006, the Ontario Supreme Court ruled in favor of KI and threw out the Platinex Inc. suit of $10 billion dollars against the First Nation. It also decided in favor of a 2001 moratorium against all development issued by KI, and supported an injunction for Platinex Inc. to halt operations for at least five months until proper negotiations can take place between Platinex Inc. and KI. On January 10, 2007, an Ontario judge extended the injunction and moratorium. Over the last year, First Nations have made significant gains in the courts to put pressure on developers, and demand consultation with their communities and greater attention to aboriginal and treaty rights. The Dene-Tha case in northern B.C., Alberta and NWT made a significant impact on the Mackenzie Gas Pipeline consultations, and the injunction gained by KI promises to be another significant case. Platinex Inc., a junior mining company, seeks exploration rights 60 km south of the KI reserve, and KI has grown increasingly concerned about pressure from mining giants like De Beers and Kennecott, and other mining proposals for access to their traditional territories. First Nations are not opposed to resource development that benefits their communities, but not at a cost to water quality, hunting access, treaty rights, or the protection of their interests in resource development decisions over their lands. “We must look at the bigger picture and look to what this land offers,” says chief Donny Morris. “We will continue to guard the land as custodians.”
- Dene Tha Case: Forestry Blog, Globe and Mail (external)
- KI and Platinex: NationTalk, Wildlands League, ON Gov., Source List, Globe and Mail (external), the Dominion, and numerous other sources.
- Platinex Inc. Website
- Map credit
- Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug leaders jailed over mining dispute: “Chief jailed in mining dispute” (March 18, 2008), “Anishinabek supports Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation Chief and councillors” (March 17, 2008), “Native leaders jailed over dispute” (March 24, 2008), “KI Press Release” (March 20, 2008), and numerous other reports.
- Summary of broader context: “Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug and the Battle Over Northern Development in Canada” (by Todd Gordon, March 26, 2008).