Conservation Group Helps Build Capacity of First Nations to Respond to Mining in Far North



    Oji-Cree Speaking Mining Coordinator Hired

    TORONTO, Oct. 29 /CNW/ - Wildlands League is pleased to announce that it
is launching a new project in the far north to support First Nations as they
respond to exploration and mining issues. Wildlands League, a leading
conservation group in Ontario, welcomes John Cutfeet, as its new Bilingual
Mining Coordinator.
    Mr. Cutfeet has a strong background in communications, is fluent in
Oji-Cree and English, has excellent knowledge of the processes of exploration
and mining, the Mining Act, and, superb understanding of Aboriginal and Treaty
Rights. He is also a member of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug.
    "We are thrilled to have him join our team at this critical time," said
Anna Baggio, Director of Conservation Land Use Planning for CPAWS Wildlands
League. "Exploration projects are popping up all over the north. The province
is currently reviewing its Mining Act, and claim staking continues," Ms Baggio
said.
    "We wanted to increase the capacity of First Nations to respond to these
issues by hiring someone who lives in the region, speaks the local language
and can provide information and advice to communities, where needed and when
requested," Ms. Baggio added.
    "The need for land use planning in Ontario has become a priority due to
the many competing interests associated in the ever increasing requirement for
land and its natural resources. Communities need the best information in order
to make informed decisions. It is a privilege and an honour to participate at
this critical stage in the interest of fairness to all," says Mr. Cutfeet.
    Mr. Cutfeet has been hired to provide resource assistance to communities
by developing and delivering presentations on the Mining Act, process of
exploration and mining, mining impacts on Aboriginal Peoples, description of
Aboriginal and Treaty Rights and environmental assessment. Mr. Cutfeet will
also share information on various community protocols regarding exploration
and mining and ensure the inclusion of local and traditional knowledge in
discussions.

    CPAWS Wildlands League is grateful to the support of a grant from the
Ontario Trillium Foundation for making this project possible. The Ontario
Trillium Foundation is an agency of the Government of Ontario. For over 25
years, the Foundation has supported the growth and vitality of communities
across the province. It continues to strengthen the capacity of the volunteer
sector through investments in community-based initiatives. For more
information, please visit www.trilliumfoundation.org.





For further information:

For further information: or to arrange interviews, please contact: John
Cutfeet, Bilingual Mining Coordinator, (807) 537-2054, email at
john@wildlandsleague.org; Anna Baggio, Director, Conservation Land Use
Planning, (416) 971-9453 x 47 or (416) 453-3285 cell

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WILDLANDS LEAGUE

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