Attawapiskat | First Nations | Fort Albany | In the News | Neskantaga
3 northern Ontario First Nations declare moratorium on Ring of Fire development

Originally published in CBC News

April 7, 2021

Attawapiskat, Fort Albany, Neskantaga calling for thorough regional impact assessment

Three First Nations in northern Ontario have declared a moratorium on all development in the Ring of Fire, out of concern that a planned regional impact assessment (RIA) won’t be thorough enough.

Attawapiskat, Fort Albany, and Neskantaga made the declaration on April 1.

“It’s one of those critical areas,” said Kate Kempton, a lawyer and spokesperson for Attawapiskat.  “We should all care very much about this. But the First Nations who live, and have always lived, and make their living and their their way in life in that area, are going to be profoundly affected.”

“This is about trying to ensure that if anything happens there, it is done through a proper, full, comprehensive [RIA] and planning process with First Nations at the centre of it, rather than at the periphery of it, which is what Canada’s proposing to do,” she said.

Kempton said while the federal and provincial governments are planning a regional assessment for the Ring of Fire area — a chromite deposit in the James Bay Lowlands — the communities are concerned its focus will be too narrow.

Related Stories

The power of peat: Canada’s secret weapon against climate change

The power of peat: Canada’s secret weapon against climate change

Scientists call them Canada’s Amazon Rainforest, and they could be at risk. Peatlands are ancient ecosystems that cool the planet by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, trapping it deep underground. A quarter of peatlands on Earth are found here in Canada, but some are under threat from potential mining developments aimed at creating technology for a greener future.