Greater Cooperation Will Lead To Economic Opportunities



    McGuinty Government And Grand Council Treaty No. 3 To Build Closer Ties

    TORONTO, April 16 /CNW/ -

    NEWS

    The ministries of Natural Resources and Northern Development and Mines
and Grand Council Treaty No.3 are committing to work together in promoting
greater economic opportunities for First Nation communities in Treaty 3
territory.
    The parties have signed a letter of intent to improve and enhance their
working relationship. The parties' goal is to further the First Nation
communities' interest in building capacity for involvement in forestry,
mineral exploration, fish and wildlife, as well as business relationships.
    This development builds on the provincial government's commitment to
building constructive and cooperative relations with Aboriginal peoples in
Ontario.

    QUOTES

    "Today's signing will help contribute to developing a closer working
relationship with Grand Council Treaty No. 3 as we seek to ensure benefits for
Anishinaabe people. We're doing what we can to ensure an improved quality of
life and expanded economic opportunities for all Aboriginal peoples."
    - Natural Resources Minister Donna Cansfield
    "Signing a Letter of Intent is more than a symbolic gesture. It clearly
demonstrates that our government is fully engaged in efforts to work with
chiefs, territorial leaders and other First Nation officials from across
Ontario to effect change for the better."
    - Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle
    "Our Chiefs will now be better engaged in our relationship with these key
ministries and receive much welcome support through our Impact/Benefit
Coordinators. It is a start that I am hopeful will be the foundation of all
activity and development in our territory, to see our communities as viable
economic partners and that the Anishinaabe will truly benefit from our shared
resources into the future."
    - Ogichidaakwe Diane Kelly, Grand Chief of Grand Council Treaty No. 3

    
    QUICK FACTS

    -   Grand Council Treaty No.3 includes 28 First Nations, two of which are
        located in Manitoba.
    -   Treaty 3 was signed on October 3, 1873 at the north-west angle of the
        Lake of the Woods.

    LEARN MORE

    -   Find out more about Grand Council Treaty No.3 (http://www.gct3.net/)
    -   Learn about partnerships
(http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Newsroom/LatestNews/270212.html) between the
        Ministry of Natural Resources and Grand Council Treaty No. 3.

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                                           ontario.ca/natural-resources-news
                                                      Disponible en français



                                                                BACKGROUNDER
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               PARTNERSHIPS BETWEEN MINISTRY AND GRAND COUNCIL
                           TREATY No. 3 COMMUNITIES
    

    The Ministry of Natural Resources is involved in a number of important
partnerships with Grand Council Treaty No.3 communities. These focus on
building relationships, pursuing economic development opportunities such as
green energy and forestry, and youth employment.
    The ministry is working with Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation, Eagle Lake
First Nation, Pikangikum - a non-Treaty 3 First Nation - and Wood Tech Group
from Finland on a proposed wood products mill. The Two Feathers Forest
Products Limited Partnership would employ about 130 Aboriginal people directly
in its operations. Using state-of-the-art Scandinavian technology to harvest,
sort, dry and mill value-added forest products, the project would also include
a biomass cogeneration plant and wood pellet facility. The ministry is working
closely with the proponent, affected provincial ministries and other
stakeholders toward a possible completion date in spring 2011.
    Lac Seul First Nation and the ministry are working together to implement
an Engagement Protocol to ensure the community's continued participation in
processes related to the planning and management of lands and resources in its
area. The protocol will help identify potential resource-based economic
development opportunities for the community. As part of the effort to ensure
greater participation, the First Nation was invited to participate on the
2011-2021 Lac Seul Forest Management Planning Team and will harvest
allocations adjacent to the reserve. In addition, the ministry is supporting
the construction of an all-weather causeway and bridge to connect Kejick Bay
to the mainland, slated to be completed this summer.
    The ministry has helped fund the Lac La Croix First Nation Community
Economic Development Plan, anticipated to be completed in May. The plan could
provide economic development opportunities for the community in the forestry,
waterpower and tourism sectors.

    
    Other initiatives include:

    -   a Fire Response Agreement with Naicatchwenin First Nation to
        implement fire response capabilities in the community and adjacent
        land;
    -   partnerships with Stanjikoming and Rainy River First Nations to
        gather information on species at risk;
    -   initial planning for a number of renewable energy proposals by First
        Nations communities for private sector hydropower;
    -   a number of forest harvesting, silvicultural and road maintenance
        agreements
    -   improved communication on resource management issues; and
    -   half-day employment education sessions for high school students to
        raise awareness of career opportunities in natural resources.

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    Bill Taylor, Aboriginal Relations Branch, 807-475-1262

                                           ontario.ca/natural-resources-news
                                                      Disponible en français
    





For further information:

For further information: Ministry of Natural Resources: Ivan Langrish,
Minister's Office, (416) 314-2212; Media Desk, Communications Services Branch,
(416) 314-2106; Ministry of Northern Development and Mines: Anne-Marie
Flanagan, Minister's Office, (416) 327-0655; Grand Council Treaty No. 3: Derek
Fox, (807) 548-4214

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