K.I. Warns Platinex against entering their land

K.I. Warns Platinex against entering their land

Support our journalism. Become a Patron!
John Ahni Schertow
November 4, 2007
 

Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) is a small, remote, First Nation in Northern Ontario that was sued early last year by Platinex, a Toronto-based junior mining exploration company, for $10 Billion dollars. Platinex also sought out an injunction against KI so they could drill for platinum on their Traditional Territory without the community’s permission. In turn, KI submitted a counter-injunction…

In what was widely regarded a landmark decision, a few months later an Ontario Superior Court Judge ruled in favour of KI, ordering a moratorium on mining while the company and the provincial government hold talks with them. The Judge also went far beyond the familiar mandate of the courts, by stating in his ruling, “the relationship that aboriginal peoples have with the land cannot be understated;” that “the land is the very essence of their being. It is their very heart and soul. No amount of money can compensate for its loss.”

The Judge added, “Despite repeated judicial messages delivered over the course of 16 years, the evidentiary record available in this case sadly reveals that the provincial Crown has not heard or comprehended this message and has failed in fulfilling [their] obligation [to consult the People].”

The ruling was whole-heartedly welcomed by the the KI, even though the court proceedings bankrupted them.

Since then, there has been an ongoing ‘consultation’ process–however on September 24, Kitchenuhmaykoosib leaders escorted Platinex officials back to their plane and warned that they may file trespassing charges against them.

The reason for this, at least what I suspect, is that Platinex was overtly ignoring the KI dependency on the land for survival–and was assuming the mining operation was ‘a given’. In any event, Immediately after this the junior mining company went to the Ontario Courts stating KI had no right to block their access to the land. One month later, the Court made it’s ruling–stating that not only is Platinex is allowed access to the Territory, but that they can now commence drilling.

According to a schedule sent out last week, Platinex is set to begin Phase One of it’s drilling operation anytime after November 2. It is set to last until July 2008.

Blockade?

On November 2, the Indigenous Nation issued a Press Release warning that Platinex is not welcome in their community, and that any actions beyond customary practices on their Territory is not sanctioned or permitted. “If you choose to proceed anyway,” they explained (see below), “the membership of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug will consider this as an encroachment and your advance will be met with objection. ”

By all means Platinex is going to proceed, and right now it’s too early to tell how KIFN is going to respond–but we can be pretty much certain it’s not going to involve the courts this time.

For further information contact:
Samuel McKay , (807) 537-2263
Bruce Sakakeep, Lands and Environment Director, (807) 537-2614

For news and updates visit:
www.kitchenuhmaykoosib.com
www.kitelecom.myknet.org

PRESS RELEASE

November 2, 2007

From: Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, Ontario

Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug is a small, remote, far northern Ontario First Nation being sued by Platinex Inc. junior mining exploration company for $10 billion. The province issued licences and permits to Platinex Inc. for exploration and drilling without notifying or consulting with Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug. It also gave the company special exemptions for required work on their mining claims. The community told the mining company it was not welcome in their customary homelands. Platinex sued Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug. The costs of the legal proceedings have bankrupted the community and they can no longer afford the Ontario justice system. Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug have taken their only recourse and moved out onto their customary homelands from which they acquire their sustenance.

Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug has issued this statement in response to an Ontario court ordered notification schedule from Platinex. The schedule calls for commencement of activities November 2nd and continuing through July 2008 for Phase One of its drilling program in KI’s customary homelands.

“The Peoples of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug don’t want Platinex or their consultants in our community. They are not welcome here. They should also know that the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug are practicing their traditional activities on the site, in their customary homelands, at the present time.”

For further information contact:
Samuel McKay , (807) 537-2263
Bruce Sakakeep, Lands and Environment Director, (807) 537-2614

November 2, 2007

Mr. James Trusler
Platinex Incorporated
11 Algonquin Crescent
Aurora, ON LAG 3E4
(805) 727 9046 Fax (905) 727 4313

Dear Mr. Trusler:

Re: Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug Customary Homelands

This letter is being sent to you as a response to the activities you propose to conduct on our Nemeigusabins Lake Customary Homelands and specifically your timetable of events forwarded to us on November 1, 2007 by Neil J. Smitherman.

Be advised that even as we write this letter there are Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug persons on those Customary Lands carrying out their trapping, hunting and fishing activities. Any other land use activity will be an absolute interference in their pursuit of their livelihood. They have however advised the Band Council to let you know that if you proceed to the site anyway that you do so only with the accompaniment of an official delegate of the Province of Ontario.

We will confirm to you again that the membership of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug want no such activity other than the traditional customary practices to be permitted on these lands.

As for your proposed arrival in the community on November 6, 2007, please be advised that the membership of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug are reaffirming that your admittance into the community IS NOT allowed and this has been demonstrated to you once before.

In closing we must reiterate to you again as we have done so already that the presence of Platinex in either the Nemeigusabins Lake Customary Homelands or in the community of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug IS NOT SANCTIONED. If you choose to proceed anyway the membership of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug will consider this as an encroachment and your advance will be met with objection.

We trust that you will take this matter seriously and reconsider the approaches you plan to take. Thank-you.

Yours truly,

Original Letter already forwarded to Mr James Trusler
and signed by Councillors

Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug Leadership

Darryl Sainnawap
Evelyn Quequish
Cecelia Begg
Samuel Mckay
Enus Mckay

And cc. to these people

– Christine Kaszycki – Assistant Deputy Minister
– Office of the Sheriff of the Distict of Kenora
– Phil Fontaine -National Chief
– Angus Toulouse – Regional Chief, COO
– Stan Beardy – Grand Chief, NAN
– Gerry Mckay – General Manager IFNA

bookmarks Follow IC on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

We're fighting for our lives

Indigenous Peoples are putting their bodies on the line and it's our responsibility to make sure you know why. That takes time, expertise and resources - and we're up against a constant tide of misinformation and distorted coverage. By supporting IC you're empowering the kind of journalism we need, at the moment we need it most.

independent uncompromising indigenous
Except where otherwise noted, articles on this website are licensed under a Creative Commons License
IC is a publication of the Center for World Indigenous Studies (cwis.org), a 501C(3) based in the United States
Help us bring IC to 47 million people! Find out how!

IC is a publication of the Center for World Indigenous Studies

Join more than 20,000 followers!

IC is a publication of the Center for World Indigenous Studies