SUDBURY, ON, Nov. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - Anishinabek Nation citizens have a
treaty right to share in Ontario's $11 billion mining industry.
"We have determined that 60 per cent of mining resources in Ontario are
located on our traditional lands," says Lake Huron Regional Chief
Isadore Day, Windawtegowinini. "Currently we receive no taxes or
benefits from mining on our traditional to treaty territories.
Municipalities get 15-22 per cent of the taxation mining revenue and we
Last year Ontario received $147 million from its 10 per cent mining tax,
Chief Day told participants in a mining workshop attended by Chiefs and
leaders from Lake Huron Regional First Nations.
Chief Day says that First Nations in Ontario should also get their fair
share of procurement contracts and jobs related to mining activity on
their traditional territories.
"The typical mine in Ontario spends 44 per cent of its annual sales on
procurement. This represents a huge opportunity for us. Right now only
10 per cent of mining jobs are held by our people."
Chief Day, Serpent River First Nation, reminded participants that
Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution guarantees existing Aboriginal
and Treaty rights and defines them to include "rights that now exist by
way of land claims agreements or may be so acquired".
He said the 1850 Robinson Huron Treaty recognized that First Nations had
mineral rights in their territory, "…and should the said Chiefs and their respective Tribes at any time
desire to dispose of any mineral or other valuable production thereon,
the same will be will be sold or leased at their request...for their
sole benefit, and to their best advantage."
"First Nations must take the lead and have a say in what happens in
their traditional and treaty territories," he said. "I'm calling on my
fellow treaty Chiefs; it's time to formally assemble, design and
organize our interests as a treaty organization specific to issues like
"Far too long has the mining industry and the Crown not been held to
task on treaty obligations. We must develop a secretariat, respond and
enforce the Robinson Huron Treaty of 1850."
The Anishinabek Nation established the Union of Ontario Indians as its
secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 39 member
communities across Ontario, representing approximately 55,000 people.
The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in
Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires,
which existed long before European contact.
SOURCE: Anishinabek Nation
For further information:
Marci Becking, Communications Officer
Phone : 1-877-702-5200 ext. 2290
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow us on Twitter Facebook YouTube