Despite the Ontario government’s efforts to avoid a confrontation between Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) community members and God's Lake Resources representatives during the world’s leading mining exploration Convention, PDAC, the conflict keeps escalating.
Yesterday, a group of several dozen activists, protesters and First Nations individuals gathered in protest of Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty allowing God’s Lake Resources to proceed with its mining activities on Native land.
Today, KI Chief Donny Morris released a video, shot at Sherman Lake site yesterday where he is settled to stop any advance from small Canadian mining exploration company God’s Lake Resources (GLR).
The Chief is challenging the Minister of Northern Development and Mines, Rick Bartolucci, to avert a spiraled conflict with the junior gold company, which insists on drilling on leases and claims in an area that the KI claim are burials grounds.
“We are getting ready for the company that is coming to this territory,” said Chief Morris in the youtube video. “Bartolucci, I’m here now so let’s start the negotiations, let’s sit down.”
In a statement, Morris said that Sunday’s Ontario government decision to unilaterally withdrew 23,181 sq km of land in KI Homeland from mining exploration was a response to KI’s longstanding decision to place a full moratorium on industry in their lands. However, the claims and leases at the heart of KI’s conflict with GLR are unaffected by Bartolucci’s move and the dispute over protection of their burials and sacred landscape remains unresolved.
This is not the first time that the Ontario Government faces demands from the KI First Nation community. A few years ago, six of their members were arrested when they opposed Canadian miner Platinex Ltd. (TSX-V:PTX) that wanted to explore on their lands. In Dec 2009, Platinex received $5-million Cdn from the Ontario government to end the dispute and walk away from its project. The events moved Ontario to draw up a new Mining act and caused the province’s industry’s reputation some damage.
See the video below: