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Ginoogaming First Nation rejects the Manufactured Consent Propogated by the Greater Sudbury – Wyloo Announcement of Battery Materials Processing Plant

June 6, 2024

NationTalk: Ginoogaming First Nation – Ginoogaming First Nation (GFN) Chief and Council are raising serious issue with the May 29, 2024 joint announcement by the City of Greater Sudbury and Wyloo Metals of land being secured for the future location of Canada’s first downstream battery materials processing plant.  This announcement was supported with statements by the leadership of the Atikameksheng Anishnawbek and Wahnapitae First Nation, and the Ontario government represented by the Honourable Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade of Ontario.

“On behalf of the membership of Ginoogaming First Nation and in the interests of our future generations – our Chief and Council is grieved by this premature announcement by industry, government and external First Nations to secure trade, processing and production deals without having first observed any protocol to ensure that the First Nations who are most directly impacted have been included and also consent or endorse the planned extraction of resources from our Matawa traditional territories and homelands.

This event is an indicator of the divide and conquer tactics of the colonial Ontario government and mining industry to find willing partners and manufacture the free, prior and informed consent of the Indigenous rights holders who have a sacred duty to protect the land, and economic rights to prosperity and opportunities in our communities.”

The Ginoogaming First Nation position is to ensure that there are appropriate long-term agreements and partnerships in place for the development of the James Bay Treaty No. 9 (1905-06 and 1929-30) territory including the Ring of Fire Region.  The signatory First Nations are the Indigenous rights holders and have not delegated any consent or decision-making authority to the Atikameksheng Anishnawbek and Wahnapitae First Nation or any other parties.  The Ginoogaming First Nation is also a member of the Matawa tribal council and signatory to the 2011 Matawa Mamow-Wecheekapawetahteewin (Unity Declaration).

Ginoogaming First Nation supports the concerns raised by Aroland First Nation with respect to the Greater Sudbury/Wyloo Metals announcement. Ginoogaming First Nation has shared traditional ancestral homelands with Aroland First Nation; both First Nations are located within the future resource extraction route from the Ring of Fire through our traditional territories. Investments continue to be announced in southern Ontario and for the mining industry in order to prepare for the boom about to be extracted from our Treaty No. 9 territory from chromite, critical minerals and precious metals of silver, gold and platinum.  No investments or announcements include our impacted First Nations.  It is unacceptable that the Province of Ontario is taking the role of economic facilitator – and relinquishing its Crown obligation to protect our First Nations from exploitation and economic exclusion. Furthermore, Ginoogaming First Nation respectfully puts forward the position of reserving the rights and interests of Treaty No. 9 signatories and future generations on the resources extracted from our lands through processing and manufacturing including the plant announced in the Greater Sudbury region.

Chief Sheri Taylor states, “I would like to emphasize that Ginoogaming First Nation has historic first-hand experience in resource extraction by industry and government.  We are the ones as First Nations that are the most impacted, and we are an at-risk population.  We face many significant vulnerabilities, due to land dispositions, and landscape changes because of the changes to the environment.  Over the years we have seen heavy forestry and mining activity that has changed our landscape, changed our water/river systems for the benefit of others with no economic or prosperity to our community.  Ginoogaming First Nation will no longer allow our people to be exploited and missed opportunities to take place in our homelands. First Nations and the Crown have a shared responsibility to keep the oral promise of our treaties alive, and that past wrongs be corrected, and that we remain unified as First Nations.  The government needs to respect the true intent of the Treaty and each nation retains the right to our own decision-making processes.”

In closing, Ginoogaming First Nation respects the autonomy and direction of each First Nation related to economic development; however, protocols and discussions must occur at the First Nation to First Nation level prior to government/industry announcements.

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For more information, please contact:

Calvin Taylor, Lands & Resources Coordinator
Cell: 1.807.853.0199

Shelly Rahme, Impact Assessment Advisor
Cell: 1.807.853.2799