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First Nations leaders’ statement on Canada’s critical minerals strategy

Anishnawbe Business Professional Association says partnership approach is necessary
Jason Rasevych (TBNewsWatch photo)
Jason Rasevych (TBNewswatch photo)

Robinson-Superior Treaty and Fort William First Nation Territory, Thunder Bay: Canada has a new plan to spend billions on boosting its critical minerals sector amid a “generational opportunity” to secure the supply chains that will power everything from electric vehicles to solar panels and wind turbines.

The federal government unveiled its $4-billion road map Friday that focuses on driving exploration, cutting red tape, and building sustainable infrastructure to avoid the economic risks that come from relying on international partners that don’t share common values, alluding to the challenges facing European allies struggling with Russia’s weaponization of energy supplies.

The following is a statement from Anishnawbe Business Professionals Association (ABPA) President Jason Rasevych on Canada’s announcement:

“Any government plan to accelerate permitting without the free, prior, informed, consent of the impacted First Nations will elevate tensions and increase risk for project proponent, investors, shareholders of companies and governments. Northwestern Ontario has the potential to supply over 15 critical minerals to transition to the new global green economy, and a significant contributor to the shift about to occur in Canada that has been described as only comparable to the Industrial revolution.

This opportunity must be First Nations-led and grassroots community engagement with the rights holders is mandatory. Many First Nations leaders are calling on the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario to show the proper respect and for an appropriate government-to-government relationship based on honouring treaty commitments to share the land, resources and decision- making.

The Government of Ontario must go beyond the duty to consult to ensure this is done right. Mining companies need to avoid transactional relationships and look to First Nations as real partners on the principles of equity, equality, and respect.”

The Anishnawbe Business Professional Association joins others First Nations leaders to advocate for funding for First Nations to prepare their communities and respond to any technical questions regarding mining projects, and impacts to the traditional ways of life.

About the ABPA: The Anishnawbe Business Professional Association (www.anishnawbebusiness.com) is a non- profit, member-based organization based in Thunder Bay, Ontario. ABPA serves the First Nation business community within the Treaty #3, Treaty#5, Treaty #9 and Robinson Huron and Superior Treaty Areas. The ABPA develops and expresses positions on business issues and other public issues relevant to First Nation business, on behalf of its members. They provide a forum for the First Nation business community to develop policies and programming which contribute to the socio-economic

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