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Business and Reconciliation (92)

Ontario and First Nations Partnering to Support Economic and Resource Development in Northern Ontario

June 18, 2024

New agreements provide funding for highway infrastructure and skills training to support First Nations communities

NationTalk: GREENSTONE — Today, the Government of Ontario signed Letters of Confirmation that will support renewed partnerships with Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek, Aroland First Nation, Ginoogaming First Nation and Long Lake #58 First Nation to unlock economic and resource development opportunities in northern Ontario, including future critical minerals projects.

“As we rebuild Ontario’s economy, our government is developing meaningful partnerships with First Nations across Ontario that create real opportunities for economic growth and job creation,” said Premier Doug Ford. “Together with First Nations partners, we’re improving and upgrading northern roads to better connect First Nations communities to the province’s highway network and to support future critical mineral and resource development opportunities. These are all season roads that will support First Nations communities, built by First Nations workers.”

The commitments outlined in the Letters of Confirmation include an agreement to upgrade the roads that connect First Nations communities to the provincial highway network and contain funding for other community infrastructure and skills training programs for First Nations people, including in resource development.

These agreements are an example of how Ontario can form stronger partnerships with First Nations communities farther north and help develop critical infrastructure to improve the health, social and economic conditions of those communities, while supporting future critical mineral projects.

Today’s agreement includes the following:

  • Building and improving the highway infrastructure that will help connect more First Nations communities to the province’s highway network. This work includes maintenance and upgrades to Highway 584 and Highway 11, with work starting this construction season.
  • $1.9 million from the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development for the Indigenous Workforce Development Program through the province’s Skills Development Fund. The program will provide training and support to secure jobs related to mineral development in the region.
  • $2 million to fund the construction and maintenance of the Migizi Plaza Rest Stop, which will serve the needs of First Nation members, tourists and residents, create jobs and drive revenue for the First Nations and Municipality of Greenstone.
  • The province will work to relocate the Greenstone OPP detachment, with support for the relocation costs from Greenstone Gold Mine. Relocating the station will ensure that people have access to police services, close to home, following the displacement of the station during the mine’s construction.
  • The province will engage with relevant First Nations communities and police services to develop a pre-charge diversion program.

“Our government is proud to build consensus with First Nations leaders around key economic development opportunities in the north,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development and Minister of Indigenous Affairs and First Nation Economic Reconciliation. “Through strategic partnerships and critical infrastructure investments, we are laying the foundation for Greenstone to become the new centre of gravity for mining, in partnership with First Nations.”

Quick Facts

  • The Letters of Confirmation are signed by Ontario with two development corporations—Kenogamisis Investment Corporation (KIC) and Minodahmun Development LP.
  • Kenogamisis Investment Corporation is a joint venture corporation of Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek, Aroland First Nation, Ginoogaming First Nation and Long Lake #58 First Nation, created to maximize participation by the First Nations in development projects.
  • Minodahmun Development LP is a 100 per cent First Nation-owned partnership created by Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek, Aroland First Nation and Ginoogaming First Nation to ensure First Nations benefit from development, while growing the local economy.
  • In October 2023, Ontario provided more than $5.7 million to six economic development projects in Greenstone, through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC).
  • The municipality of Greenstone, Ontario is located approximately 300 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay. It is home to the Greenstone Gold Mine, one of the largest open-pit mines in Canada.
  • The Skills Development Fund Training Stream is supported through labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.
  • As announced in April 2024, Ontario is working in partnership with Webequie, Nibinamik, Neskantaga, Eabametoong and Marten Falls First Nations on clean and reliable transmission opportunities, ending their reliance on diesel generation.


“All of this work is a testament to what can be achieved when First Nations, government, and industry collaborate effectively and negotiate equitable agreements that bring real benefits to our members.”

– Chief Sonny Gagnon
Aroland First Nation

“Migizi Plaza will showcase the vibrant culture of our communities. The Plaza will provide valuable economic development and employment opportunities to community members and allow our First Nations to be active participants in the development of the region.”

– Chief Yvette Metansinine
Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek

“Minodahmun’s Indigenous Workforce Development Program is crucial for empowering our people with the skills and opportunities to build meaningful careers, strengthen our communities and ensure our members are participating in projects on our lands.”

– Chief Sheri Taylor
Ginoogaming First Nation

“Long Lake #58 First Nation, LL58, acknowledges the efforts of all our partners in working together to create sustainable economic development opportunities. Through LL58’s proactive support of KIC since its outset, our shared goals of Indigenous-led initiatives are taking shape.”

– Chief Judy Desmoulin
Long Lake #58 First Nation

“Today’s milestone is a crucial step to improve highway infrastructure in Greenstone and for Indigenous communities across Northern Ontario. Under the leadership of Premier Ford and Minister Rickford, our government will continue to invest in better transportation across our province, to drive economic growth for everyone.”

– Prabmeet Sarkaria
Minister of Transportation

“I’m proud that our government is supporting northern Indigenous workers to leverage local knowledge and develop their skills to fill in-demand, rewarding careers close to home. Through our Skills Development Fund, our government is investing nearly $2 million to support an end-to-end critical mineral supply chain that drives the prosperity for partner First Nations communities and the province as a whole.”

– David Piccini
Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development

“Everyone in Ontario deserves to live in a safe community. A part of that is ensuring that the police officers who protect us have modern facilities and equipment. That is why our government will work with local officials to relocate the Greenstone OPP detachment, ensuring the communities it will serve can receive exemplary policing services.”

– Michael Kerzner
Solicitor General of Ontario

“Kenogamisis Investment Corporation’s goal is to develop sustainable regional business opportunities within the Traditional Territories of the First Nations focused on energy, mining and real estate development. Our partnerships and collaborations represent a shared commitment to sustainability and economic growth. Over the last five years, KIC has advanced climate, social and economic priorities through Indigenous owned and led initiatives that will positively impact our communities and beyond.”

– Horis Mansuri
CEO of Kenogamisis Investment Corporation

Additional Resources

Media Contacts

Caitlin Clark
Premier’s Office

Curtis Lindsay
Minister Rickford’s Office

Flavia Mussio
Communications Branch