Le Lézard
Classified in: Mining industry
Subjects: LAW, NTA


GULL BAY, ON, July 31, 2023 /CNW/ - Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek (Gull Bay First Nation) (KZA) has publicly affirmed its resolve to protect its treaty rights against unconstitutional mining claim registration. In recent weeks, there has been a rush of new mining claim registration in the close vicinity of KZA's reserve at Gull River.

"The Mining Act permits anyone with a prospector's license to stake mining claims without any regard for the constitutionally-protected treaty rights that exist in these lands, and without any consultation," said KZA Chief Wilfred N. King. "The registration of these mining claims under Ontario's free entry mining system breaches our treaty rights and the duty to consult."

The mining claims staked in the close vicinity of KZA's reserve are located squarely within an area that has been identified by KZA for the expansion of its reserve as part of the remedying of past and ongoing breaches of the Robinson Superior Treaty.  KZA, Ontario and Canada are currently engaged in a negotiation and settlement process relating to KZA's outstanding claim regarding the size of its reserve, based on the Crown's failure to survey and set aside a reserve at Gull River of the size that was agreed-upon by the Treaty parties in 1850.

"Through the Mining Act, the Ontario Crown is allowing prospectors to acquire mining claim interests on lands that are known to Ontario to be vitally important to KZA for the purposes of reserve expansion," Chief King continued. "The process by which these claims were registered breaches our treaty rights and the Crown's duties, and is unlawful. To the extent that the existence of these claims interferes with KZA's reserve land selection process, the claims are invalid."

Chief King concluded: "We are putting all prospectors and mining proponents on notice that we strenuously oppose any mining claim registration in the area in the close vicinity of our reserve. KZA will pursue any and all remedies necessary to protect our rights and interests in these lands."

Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek area of opposition to mining claim registration (CNW Group/Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek)

More information regarding KZA's position may be found here.

ABOUT KIASHKE ZAAGING ANISHINAABEK: KZA is a First Nation located approximately 250 km northeast of Thunder Bay, Ontario, on the western shore of Lake Nipigon. An original signatory of the Robinson Superior Treaty of 1850, KZA has a membership of 1574 members.

SOURCE Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek

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