Indigenous Group: Mitchikanibikok Inik also known as Algonquins of Barrière Lake
Business: Copper One
Issue: Mine will degrade land and pollute the headwaters of the Ottawa River
Comment: April 17, 2017: Ecojustice (University of Ottawa) – Copper One, a junior mining company, filed a mandamus application to force the Quebec government to grant it “deforestation permits” that will allow it to start mining exploration activities in the Mitchikanibikok Inik traditional territory. In 1991, the Mitchikanibikok Inik signed a trilateral agreement with the governments of Canada and Quebec to establish a system of sustainable development over 10,000 square kilometres of their un-ceded traditional territory. Negotiations regarding implementation are ongoing. The Mitchikanibikok Inik are calling on the court to reject the mining company’s lawsuit to open their un-ceded territory for forestry and mining exploration.
Latest Update: Sept. 16, 2021: Ecojustice – The Mitchikanibikok Inik First Nation (also known as the Algonquins of Barriere Lake) will be in the Superior Court of Quebec today for an interim hearing in a case that challenges the constitutionality of certain sections of Quebec’s Mining Act. They have fought for years to keep their ancestral territories, a space twice the size of Prince Edward Island, off limits to mining.
The Quebec government has continually relied on a premise known as “free entry mining” enshrined in the province’s archaic Mining Act to ignore its constitutional duty to consult the Mitchikanibikok Inik about mining on their ancestral lands. This, their case argues, is a clear violation of their constitutional rights. Quebec is arguing that the First Nation has not been detailed enough about the prejudicial effects on the community’s rights which could be caused by the granting, transfer or renewal of mining claims on their territory. Danielle Gallant, lawyer, Ecojustice, said: “This case is not about predicting future harm. It is about the community’s right to be consulted before any harm, arising from yet-unknown mining plans, happens. That is the heart of this case.
“This motion is an attempt by the Quebec government to distract from the core issue of the case and deny the Mitchikanibikok Inik their day in court