Treaty 3 Grand Chief Francis Kavanaugh is joining municipal leaders, as he calls for the province to link resource benefits and rights to those living in the area.
“All people in Treaty 3 territory should be concerned by the prospect of a single corporation being allowed to take steps to consolidate its control over a forest it does not own," said the grand chief in a prepared statement.
"Our traditional law calls for the use of our resources to be authorized by the Anishinaabe people, which is a clear reflection of the principle of free, prior and informed consent. Our law also requires that our natural resources return economic support and benefit to those who live in our territory.
The grand chief was reacting to the ongoing debate over the future of the Fort Frances mill and the wood rights for the Crossroute forest. Before Christmas there was hope a new buyer might take over the Fort Frances mill and restart it. Municipal leaders in the area have been lobbying Queen's Park, in an effort to get the province to link the mill with the wood rights.
In the last provincial election, the governing Tories promised to share resource revenues with municipalities and First Nations. Plans for how this would be implemented are still in the works.
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