Three First Nations in and near Greater Sudbury have entered into a partnership with Technica Mining of Lively, a well-known mining contractor.
The new partnership involves Atikameksheng Anishnawbek, Sagamok Anishnawbek and Wahnapitae First Nation. The partnership is a new business entity called Akieh Dibinwewziwin, which means “to be owned by the earth,” said a joint news release. The company name was generated by language holders from each of the First Nations.
The new partnership — called Aki-eh Dibinwewziwin — will now provide world-class mine contracting services for their partners and meaningfully participate in the economic benefits in their territorial lands within the Robinson Huron Treaty Territory, said the release.
Gimaa (Chief) Craig Nootchtai of Atikameksheng Anishnawbek located 20 kilometres west of the City of Greater Sudbury was pleased with the agreement.
“Atikameksheng Anishnawbek recognizes this partnership as a major step forward for our Debendaagziwaad on the path to true sovereignty and independence. The cooperative we establish now will benefit our people for generations by creating high-value careers and lucrative business opportunities for our community," he said.
Gimaa Angus Toulouse at Sagamok Anishnawbek on the north shore of Lake Huron said mining companies have not always looked after the lands, but there are steps towards improvement.
“Sagamok Anishnawbek has always had stewardship responsibilities to the lands and resources inhabited and used by our ancestors. The same lands and resources were always intended to sustain our people for all of their economic, cultural, spiritual, and health-care needs," Toulouse said. “Unfortunately, the sharing principle regarding lands and resources has not always been embraced by our treaty partners, their settlers, and resource development companies."
"In more recent times, we are pleased to have experienced more positive relationships regarding the Sudbury mining sector, and we believe that the new relationship with Technica Mining, along with our Atikameksheng and Wahnapitae brothers and sisters, is another step forward in reflecting the principle of sharing,” Toulouse added.
Chief Larry Roque of Wahnapitae First Nation, on the shores of Lake Wanapitei, remarked he too was pleased in joining with Atikameksheng and Sagamok to pursue new opportunities with Technica now and into the future.
"This represents a unique moment to build something that benefits our members now and for future generations, and we sincerely look forward to the strong foundations we are creating as part of this work," said Roque.
“By building strong relationships with our brothers and sisters on Turtle Island, and within Atikameksheng and Sagamok, we can truly look to a brighter horizon, together," he added.
Mario Grossi, the president and CEO of Technica Mining, also remarked on the importance of a better future for all the partners.
“We are humbled to have earned the trust and respect of Atikameksheng Anishinabek, Sagamok Anishinabek and Wahnapitae First Nation. For far too long First Nations in the Sudbury Basin have not properly benefited from our shared resources — while we cannot right our past, it is our responsibility to create a new future.”