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First Nations Communities in Ontario: Information and Resources
• There are 137 FirstNations communitieslocated in the provinceof Ontario, with acombined population ofapproximately 132,000.• The Chiefs of Ontario(COO) is a politicalforum / secretariat thatoperates collectivedecision-making, actionand advocacy.• for better resolution,this map is located at:http://www.chiefs-of-ontario.org/profiles/map.html
• The 137 First Nationcommunities in Ontario areorganized into four ProvincialTerritorial Organizations (PTO’s):1) Nishnawbe Aski Nation (49communities)2) Union of Ontario Indians (42communities)3) Grand Council Treaty #3 (26communities)4) Association of Iroquois & AlliedIndians (8 communities)• 12 Independent communitiesthat do not have any affiliationwith a PTO.• for better resolution, this mapmay be located online at:http://www.chiefs-of-ontario.org/profiles/largemap_new.pdf
• NAN is a political territorial organization representing 49 First Nationcommunities in northwestern and northeastern Ontario.•NAN communities are grouped by Tribal Council according to region.• 35 of the 49 NAN communities are remote, and are accessible by air only.•NAN encompasses the entire James Bay Treaty 9 territory, as well asOntarios portion of Treaty 5.•Total land mass: covers two-thirds of Ontario, spanning an area of 210,000square miles.•Total approximate population of NAN First Nation members (on and offreserve): 45,000.•Traditional languages spoken: Ojibway, Cree, and Ojicree.•NAN web site: www.nan.on.ca
• NAN consists of 7 Tribal Councils: 1) Windigo FN Council 2) Wabun Tribal Council 3) Shibogama FN Council 4) Mushkegowuk Council 5) Matawa First Nations 6) Keewaytinook Okimakanak 7) Independent First Nations Alliance The following five NAN communities are listed as ‘Independent Bands,’ with no affiliation to a tribal council organization (indicated in red on the NAN map):Independent Bands Independent First Nations Alliance 1) Weenusk First Nation Keewaytinook Okimakanak 2) Sandy Lake First Nation Matawa First Nations Mushkegowuk Council 3) Mishkeegogamang First Nation Shibogama First Nations Council 4) Mocreebec Council of the Cree Wabun Tribal Council NationWindigo First Nations Council 5) Flying Post
Sachigo Lake • The Windigo FN Council consists of Bearskin Lake seven communities that are fly-in access only, located north of Lake Nipigon and Koocheching just east of the Ontario-Manitoba border (indicated in orange on the NAN map):North Caribou Lake 1) Sachigo Lake First Nation 2) Bearskin Lake First Nation 3) Koocheching First Nation Cat Lake 4) North Caribou Lake First NationSlate Falls 5) Cat Lake First Nation 6) Slate Falls First Nation Whitewater Lake 7) Whitewater Lake First Nation • Windigo First Nations Council web site: www.windigo.on.ca
• The Wabun Tribal Council consists Wahgoshig of six First Nation communities in Beaverhouse central Ontario located near the City Mattagami of Timmins, just west of the Ontario- MatachewanBrunswick House Quebec border (indicated in light Chapleau Ojibway brown on the NAN map): 1) Wahgoshig First Nation 2) Beaverhouse First Nation 3) Mattagami First Nation 4) Brunswick House First Nation 5) Chapleau Ojibway First Nation 6) Matachewan First Nation • Wabun Tribal Council web site: www.wabun.on.ca
• The Shibogama First Nations Wapekeka Council consists of five First Nation Kasabonika communities in northwestern Wawakapewin Ontario that are fly-in access only, located north of the 50th parallel Kingfisher Lake (indicated in pink on the NAN map): 1) Wapekeka First NationWunnumin Lake 2) Kasabonika First Nation 3) Wawakapewin First Nation 4) Kingfisher Lake First Nation 5) Wunnumin Lake First Nation • Shibogama First Nations Council web site: www.shibogama.on.ca
• The Mushkegowuk Council consists of Attawapiskat seven Cree communities in northeastern Ontario four of which are fly-in Kashechewan accessible, located along the Hudson Fort Albany Bay coast, and three of them highway- accessible located near the town of Moose Cree Chapleau (indicated in purple on the NAN map): 1) Attawapiskat First Nation 2) Kashechewan First Nation 3) Fort Albany First Nation New Post 4) Moose Cree First Nation 5) New Post First Nation 6) Missanabie Cree First Nation Missanabie Cree 7) Chapleau Cree First NationChapleau Cree • Mushkegowuk Council web site: www.mushkegowuk.ca
Webequie • The Matawa First Nations Council consists Nibinamik of ten communities in northwestern Ontario, five of which are road-accessible via the Neskantaga Trans-Canada Hwy 11, while the remainingEabematoong five that are located north of the 50th parallel Marten Falls are fly-in access only (indicated in blue on the NAN map): 1) Webequie First Nation 2) NibinamikFirst Nation Aroland 3) Neskantaga First Nation Constance Lake 4) Eabematoong First Nation Long Lake #58 5) Marten Falls First Nation Ginoogaming 6) Aroland First Nation Hornepayne 7) Long Lake #58 First Nation 8) Ginoogaming First Nation 9) Constance Lake First Nation 10) Hornepayne • Matawa First Nations web site: www.matawa.on.ca
• The Keewaytinook Okimakanak Tribal Fort Severn Council consists of 6 communities in northwestern Ontario, one of which is located on the Hudson Bay coast, while the remaining five are located adjacent to the Ontario-Manitoba border (indicated in green on the NAN map): 1) Fort Severn First Nation Kee-Way-WinDeer Lake 2) Kee-Way-Win First Nation North Spirit Lake 3) Deer Lake First Nation MacDowell LakePoplar Hill 4) North Spirit Lake First Nation 5) Poplar Hill First Nation 6) MacDowell Lake First Nation • Keewaytinook Okimakanak web site: www.knet.ca
• There are three NAN communities Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug that are affiliated with the Independent First Nations Alliance Muskrat Dam (IFNA), and are located adjacent to the Manitoba border (indicated in yellow on the NAN map): 1) Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First NationPikangikum 2) Muskrat Dam First Nation 3) Pikangikum First Nation • Independent First Nations Alliance web site: www.ifna.ca
• The UOI is a political organization that advocates for 42member First Nations across Ontario.• The UOI represents First Nations throughout the province ofOntario from Golden Lake in the east, Sarnia in the south, toThunder Bay and Lake Nipigon in the north.• Approximate combined population: 42,000 citizens, or one thirdof the province of Ontario’s Aboriginal population.•The UOI is headquartered on Nipissing First Nation, just outsideof North Bay, with satellite offices in: Thunder Bay; on CurveLake First Nation; and on the Munsee-Delaware First Nation.
• The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organizationin Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy ofThree Fires, which existed long before European contact.• UOI web site: www.anishinabek.ca
• UOI communitiesin the NorthernSuperior Region arelocated in theAtlantic watershed,from the westernedge of LakeSuperior nearThunder Bay, all theway to the easternedge of LakeSuperior, near SaultSte Marie.• This geographicarea correspondswith the Robinson-Superior 1850Treaty area.
• UOI communities inthe Lake HuronRegion are located incentral Ontario in theAtlantic watershed,from the northernedge of Lake Huronat Sault Ste Marie,inland north and eastall the way to theQuebec border, andalso south to includethe northern shore ofGeorgian Bay.• This geographicarea corresponds withthe Robinson-Huron1850 Treaty area.
• UOI communitiesin the SoutheastRegion are locatedin southern Ontariofrom the OttawaValley in the north,east along theQuebec border, tothe City of Torontoin the south, andwest to GeorgianBay to include theBruce Peninsula.
• UOI communities inthe Southeast Regionare located insouthwestern Ontario,from Toronto south toWindsor, inclusive ofthe eastern shore ofLake Huron.• This correspondswith the UpperCanada Treatiesarea.
• GCT3 is the historic government of the Anishinaabe Nation in theTreaty #3 area (signed in 1873).• It is the political organization for the 28 First Nations located in thistreaty area, with headquarters in Kenora, Ontario.•GCT3 is representative of the significant movement over the yearsback towards Anishinaabe Nationhood by the membercommunities.• The treaty area includes 26 First Nations in Northwestern Ontario,and 2 First Nations in Manitoba.•Population: approximately 25,000.• GCT3 web site: www.gct3.net
• GCT3 communities aremainly centred around theLake of the Woods regionof northwestern Ontario(near the Manitoba andMinnesota borders).• All of the GCT3communities are road-accessible, and all arelocated within reasonabledistances from thefollowing full-servicecommunities: Kenora,Dryden, Sioux Lookout,Fort Frances, Atikokan,and Thunder Bay.
• The AIAI was established primarily as a political organizationin 1969, to represent its member Nations in any negotiation orconsultation with any level of government affecting the well-being of the member Nations as a whole.• The AIAI currently represents eight (8) member First Nations ofstatus Indians in Ontario, with a membership of 20,000 people.• The AIAI provides political representation and policy analysis inthe following areas of mutual concern: Health, Social Services,Education, Intergovernmental Affairs, Treaty Research and TaxImmunity.•AIAI web site: www.aiai.on.ca
• With the exception of the Batchewana First Nation, all ofthe AIAI communities are located in urban and ruralsouthern Ontario:1) Batchewana First Nation (just north of Sault Ste Marie)2) Caldwell First Nation (Leamington, just south of Windsor)3) Delaware Nation (Thamesville, just west of London)4) Hiawatha First Nation (Keene, just south of Peterborough)5) Oneida Nation of the Thames (Southwold, just west of London)6) Mississaugas of the New Credit (Hagarsville, just south of Hamilton)7) Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte (Deseronto, just west of Kingston)8) Wahta Mohawks (Bala, just north of Orillia)
Bearskin Lake First Nation Sachigo Lake First Nation• 425 km north of Sioux Lookout • 425 km north of Sioux Lookout• registered population: 866 • registered population: 792Cat Lake First Nation Slate Falls First Nation• 179 km north of Sioux Lookout • 130 km north of Sioux Lookout• registered population: 653 • registered population: 246Koocheching First Nation Whitewater Lake First Nation:• 65 km northeast of Sandy Lake, 80 km • 60 km north of Armstrongwest of Round Lake • registered population: 150• registered population: 70North Caribou Lake First Nation• 320 km north of Sioux Lookout• registered population: 990• also known as ‘Weagamow’ or ‘RoundLake’
Wahgoshig First Nation Chapleau Ojibway First Nation:• 6 km north of Matheson • 3 km south of Chapleau• registered population: 280 • registered population: 40Mattagami First Nation• 50 km northwest of Sudbury• registered population 477Matachewan First Nation• 60 km west of Kirkland Lake• registered population: 545Brunswick House First Nation:• 5 km east of Chapleau• registered population: 663
Wapekeka First Nation Wunnumin Lake First Nation:• 451 km northeast of Sioux Lookout • 360 km northeast of Sioux• registered population: 398 Lookout • registered population: 629Kasabonika Lake First Nation• 470 km northeast of Sioux Lookout• registered population 971Wawakapewin First Nation• 350 km north of Sioux Lookout• registered population: 61Kingfisher Lake First Nation:• 320 km northeast of Sioux Lookout• registered population: 501
Attawapiskat First Nation New Post First Nation• 500 km north of Timmins • Also known as ‘Taykwa• registered population: 3,168 Tagamou Nation’ • 20 km west of CochraneKashechewan First Nation • registered population: 384• 300 km north of Timmins• registered population: 4,149 Missanabie Cree First Nation (both Kashechewan and Fort • Land entitlement currently Albany) under negotiation • registered population: 400Fort Albany First Nation• 12 km from Kashechewan Chapleau Cree First Nation • 5 km southwest of ChapleauMoose Cree First Nation • registered population: 92• 200 km north of Cochrane• registered population: 3,798
Webequie First Nation Eabematoong First Nation• 540 km north of Thunder • 420 km north of Thunder Bay Bay • registered population: 2,287• registered population: 785 Aroland First NationNibinamik First Nation • 350 km northeast of Thunder Bay• 450 km north of Thunder • registered population: 700 Bay• registered population: 449 Ginoogaming First Nation • 330 km east of Thunder BayNeskantaga First Nation • registered population: 773• 490 km north of Thunder Bay Long Lake #58 First Nation• registered population: 411 • registered population: 1,277Marten Falls First Nation Constance Lake First Nation• 400 km northeast of Thunder Bay • 500 km east of Thunder Bay• registered population: 619 • registered population: 1,530
Fort Severn First Nation North Spirit Lake First Nation• most northern community in • 180 km northeast of Red Ontario (shore of Hudson Bay) Lake• registered population: 636 • registered population: 456Deer Lake First Nation McDowell Lake First Nation• 180 km north of Red Lake • 160 km northeast of Red• registered population: 1,156 Lake • registered population: 51Poplar Hill First Nation• 120 km north of Red Lake• registered population: 489Kee-Way-Win First Nation• 250 km north of Red Lake• registered population: 704
Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation• 580 km north of Thunder Bay• registered population: 1,399Muskrat Dam First Nation• 540 km north of Thunder Bay• registered population: 396Pikangikum First Nation• 100 km north of Red Lake•registered population: 2,278
Weenusk (Peawanuck) FirstNation Flying Post First Nation• 800 km north of Thunder Bay • office in Nipigon, Ontario• registered population: 535 • registered population: 167Sandy Lake First Nation• 450 km northeast of Winnipeg• registered population: 2,656Mishkeegogamang First Nation• 400 km north of Thunder Bay•registered population: 1,640•Mocreebec Council of the CreeNation• 200 km north of Cochrane•
Biijintiwaabik Zaaging AnishinabekFort William First Nation • also known as ‘Rocky Bay First Nation’• Thunder Bay, Ontario • 150 km east of Thunder Bay• registered population: 1,881 • registered population: 680Lake Helen First Nation Pays Plat First Nation• 100 km east of Thunder Bay • 200 km east of Thunder Bay• Also known as ‘Red Rock First Nation’ • registered population: 200• registered population: 1,506 Pic Mobert First NationKiashke Zaaging Anishinabek • 350 km east of Thunder Bay• Armstrong, Ontario • registered population: 835• Also known as ‘Gull Bay First Nation’• registered population: 1,149 Ojibways of Pic River First Nation • 300 km east of Thunder BayNamaygoosisagagun First Nation • registered population: 1,001• Collins, Ontario• presently applying for band status Michipicoten First Nation • 500 km east of Thunder BayBingwi Neyaashi Anishinabek •registered population: 774• 200 km northeast of Thunder Bay• also known as ‘Sand Point First Nation’ Animibigoo Zaa’iging Anishinabek• registered population: 197 • 250 km northeast of Thunder Bay • registered population: 396
Nipissing First Nation Wasauksing First NationGarden River First Nation • 30 km west of North Bay • 150 km south of Sudbury• Sault Ste Marie, Ontario• registered population: 2,365 • registered population: 2,241 Moose Deer Point First Nation Dokis First Nation • 150 km north of TorontoThessalon First Nation • 60 km west of North Bay • registered population: 450• 75 km east of Sault Ste Marie• registered population: 603 • registered population: 984 M’Chigeeng Whitefish Lake First Nation • Manitoulin IslandMississauga First Nation • 2 km west of Sudbury •registered population: 2,325• 100 km east of Sault SteMarie • registered population: 976• registered population: 1,091 Sheguiandah Whitefish River First Nation • Manitoulin IslandSagamok Anishnawbek • 40 km west of Sudbury • registered population: 336• 175 km east of Sault Ste • registered population: 1,136Marie Zhiibaahaasing• registered population: 2,549 Henvey Inlet First Nation • Manitoulin Island • 60 km south of SudburyWahnapitae First Nation •registered population: 600 Sheshegwaning• Sudbury, Ontario • Manitoulin Island• registered population: 326 Magnetawan First Nation • 80 km south of Sudbury Aundeck Omni Kaning • registered population: 233 • Manitoulin Island Wikwekmikong • Manitoulin Island
Algonquin of Pikwakanagan Chippewas of Georgina Island• 140 km northwest of Ottawa • 80 km north of Toronto• registered population: 2,039 • registered population: 723 Mississaugas of Scugog IslandCurve Lake First Nation • 50 km northeast of Toronto• 20 km north of Peterborough • registered population: 205• registered population: 1,831 Beausoleil First NationAlderville First Nation • 150 km north of Toronto • registered population: 1,869• 20 km southeast ofPeterborough• registered population: 1,004
Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Aamjiwnaang First NationPoint First Nation • also known as “Chippewas of• 30 km northeast of Sarnia Sarnia”• registered population: 2,194 • 6 km south of Sarnia • registered population: 850Chippewas of the Thames FirstNation• 15 km southwest of London• registered population: 2,432Munsee-Delaware Nation• 15 km southwest of London• registered population: 550
Batchewana First Nation Oneida Nation of the Thames• 50 km north of Sault Ste Marie • 15 km southwest of London• registered population: 2,431 • registered population: Mississaugas of the New CreditCaldwell First Nation • 25 km southwest of Brantford• 80 km southwest of London • registered population: 1,901• registered population: 266 Mohawks of the Bay of QuinteDelaware Nation • km west of Kingston • registered population: 7,985• registered population: 617 Wahta MohawksHiawatha First Nation • 200 km north of Toronto• 12 km south of Peterborough • registered population: 690• registered population: 440
Anishinabe of Wauzhusk Onigum Lac Des Milles Lacs First Nation Ochiichagwe’babigo’ining First• registered population: 667 • registered population: 535 Nation • registered population: 347Anishnaabeg of Naongashing Lac La Croix First Nation• registered population: 377 • registered population: 417 Ojibway Nation of Saugeen • registered population: 215Big Grassy First Nation Naicatchewenin First Nation• registered population: 698 • registered population: 392 Ojibways of Onigaming First NationCouchiching First Nation Naotkamegwanning First Nation • registered population: 714• registered population: 2,065 • registered population: 1,164 Rainy River First NationEagle Lake First Nation Nicickousemenecaning First Nation • registered population: 760• registered population: • registered population: 307 Seine River First NationGrassy Narrows First Nation Northwest Angle #33 First Nation • registered population: 715• registered population: 1,407 • registered population: 472 Shoal Lake #40 First NationIskatewizaagegan #39 First Nation Northwest Angle #37 First Nation • registered population: 558• registered population: 584 • registered population: 343 Stanjikoming First NationWabauskang First Nation Obashkaandagaang First Nation • registered population: 139• registered population: 269 • registered population: 292 Wabasseemoong First NationLac Seul First Nation Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation • registered population: 1,771• registered population: 2,951 • registered population: 535
According to the Urban Aboriginal Peoples Study (UAPS) released in 2009 by the Environics Institute (http://www.uaps.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/UAPS-FULL-REPORT.pdf):• “According to the 2006 Census, a total of 1,172,790 people in Canada identified themselves as an Aboriginal person, that is, First Nations, Métis or Inuit. This population accounts for almost four percent of the total population of Canada.”• “the Aboriginal population in Canada – First Nations, Métis and Inuit – grew between 1996 and 2006, experiencing an overall increase of 45 percent, a rate almost six times faster than the eight-percent increase in the non-Aboriginal population”• “In 2006, half of the Aboriginal population in Canada lived in urban centres (including large cities or census metropolitan areas and smaller urban centres), up from 47 percent in 1996”• “Half (48%) of Aboriginal people in Canada are children and young people under 24 years of age, much higher than the 31 percent of the non-Aboriginal population”• “By 2017, there is projected to be close to a million Aboriginal people of working age (15 and older), or about 3.4 percent of the working age population overall (Statistics Canada 2005)”• “In the same time period, the number of young Aboriginal adults (aged 20 to 29) – those entering the labour market – is expected to grow by more than 40 percent, which is well beyond the projected growth of nine percent among 20- to 29-year-olds in the general Canadian population”
According to the Urban Aboriginal Peoples Study (UAPS) released in 2009 by the Environics Institute (http://www.uaps.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/UAPS- FULL-REPORT.pdf):• “urban Aboriginal peoples have had greater success achieving a post-secondary education than their on-reserve counterparts”• “almost half (47%) of Aboriginal people living in the cities included in this survey (excluding Ottawa) have a college or university degree”• “most urban Aboriginal peoples do not learn about Aboriginal people, history and culture in elementary and high school, and it is not until the post-secondary level that they recall learning about their culture in any measure”• “While urban Aboriginal peoples may have overcome many barriers to get to the post-secondary level, once they are pursuing their studies the most common obstacle is funding.”• “Urban Aboriginal peoples rely primarily on Band or Aboriginal funding for their post-secondary education, and have less access to job income, family support and personal savings than do non-Aboriginal Canadians”• “
Government of Ontario (Aboriginal Affairs) web site (www.ontario.ca/en/about_ontario/004563):• Statistics Canada population reporting on Aboriginal identity can be found at http://www40.statcan.gc.ca/l01/cst01/demo38b-eng.htm• According to Stats Can: 240,000 of Ontarios people identified themselves as ‘Aboriginal’ (North American Indian, Métis or Inuit) – and this amounts to1/5 of Canadas Aboriginal population in total.• Ontario Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs ‘Strengthening Relationships’ section can be found at http://www.aboriginalaffairs.gov.on.ca/english/policy/policy.asp• Ontario is charting a new course for constructive, cooperative relationships with Aboriginal people in Ontario.• These relationships are based on mutual respect, dignity, and meaningful participation in decision making.• Goal: improved opportunities and a better future for Aboriginal children and youth.
First Nations Information Project web site (http://www.johnco.com/nativel/):• intended to assist those persons that wish to find information on First Nations and its peoples.• links are organized in a manner that will facilitate research and information on various pertinent topics.• Includes links to individual First Nations community web sites.• Includes links to: economic development and tourism; education and culture; First Nation organizations; government; housing; history; health/healing; publications/newspapers; treaties/laws/land claims.
• Members of the Mississaugas of the New Credit have voted nearly unanimously in favour of an historic $145 million land claims settlement with the federal government pertaining to land in Toronto and Burlington, Ont.• The settlement ends seven years of negotiation between the band and the federal government, and represents "the largest specific claim offer to a First Nation in the history of Canada," according to a statement on the bands website.• Band members voted on May 29,2010 to ratify the Toronto Purchase and Brant Tract Specific Claim Settlement Agreement and Trust Agreement.• The agreement calls for each of the bands approximately 1,842 members to receive $20,000 in cash (money for minors will be held in trust and paid, with interest, when they reach 18), and tens of millions of dollars to be designated for community and economic development, infrastructure, education, health, housing and culture.• The settlement resolves two land claims: the Toronto purchase of 1805, which included some 250,000 acres of land, and the Brant Tract purchase of 1797, which included 3,450 acres of land.
• Long before the first European explorers set foot on what is now Canada, theancestors of the present-day members of Fort William First Nation lived along thenorth shore of Lake Superior near the mouth of the Kaministiquia River.• Settlers from eastern Canada and Europe also found the area attractive, asdemonstrated by the growth of the adjacent City of Thunder Bay (originally the townsof Fort William and Port Arthur).• The Fort William Reserve was created in 1853, as a condition of the 1850 Robinson-Superior Treaty.• The Chief and Headmen who signed the Treaty intended that the Reserve wouldprovide not just for their children, but for their grandchildren’s grandchildren. However,most of the best Reserve land was taken within about three generations.• In the negotiations of The Robinson Superior Treaty, Fort William agreed not tointerfere with foreign settlers. In return, the Crown promised cash payments and tradegoods, annuities beginning in 1851, complete freedom to continue to hunt and fish asbefore (except on private land), and a Reserve at Fort William.• At that time, Fort William First Nation was a thriving community. Most people madetheir living in traditional ways, but took advantage of the nearby Hudson’s Bay Post tosell furs and buy supplies. About ten families were employed in the commercialfishery, exporting many barrels of salted fish annually to Detroit and points east.
• A 4,600-year-old burial that has been discovered could hold the key to howancient Canadians lived. The remarkable find has been made at the mouth of theBug River, near Big Trout Lake (Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation), anAboriginal community in northern Ontario numbering around 1,200.• The discovery was made by First Nation fishermen as water levels fell at thelake, exposing the burial. The rare site is currently being handled by anarchaeological team from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay.• The skeleton discovered is that of a man aged in his late-30’s or 40’s. Aroundfive-and-a-half feet tall, the man had a “very, very robust muscular build,”according to team leader Prof Scott Hamilton. The man lived at around the sametime the Great Pyramids were being built in ancient Egypt, and great cities suchas Babylon were popping up across the Near East.• The community first made international headlines in 2008, when six leaders ofthe Chief and Council were imprisoned In Thunder Bay for protestingdevelopment on their traditional land by a Toronto mining company known asPlatinex Inc.• Several members of K.I. and surrounding First Nations protested their leadersimprisonment by walking all the way to Toronto. Their incarcerated leaders weregiven temporary parole to appear at a Queen’s Park protest on May 26, andwere permanently freed by the Ontario Court of Appeal two days later.
• The federal government recently granted Aboriginals in Ontario a majorconcession on the province’s new harmonized sales tax (HST), amid threats thatFirst Nations protesters would “shut down the country” when it played host toworld leaders at the then-upcoming G8 and G20 summits.• Until June 2010, Ottawa had ignored First Nation pleas for a province-widepoint-of-sale exemption from the HST after it would take effect on July 1. WithNative leaders set to plan protests that could include outright blockades, federaland provincial officials engaged in a frantic round of negotiations.• Alvin Fiddler, senior policy adviser at the Independent First Nations Alliance (atribal council representing five communities) said the main item at a June 2010meeting of Native leaders in Fort Frances, Ont, was be how to maximizeexposure to natives’ complaints” “It’s direct action that usually gets the mostattention,” he said.• Stan Beardy, Grand Chief of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, said in June 2010 thatrepresentatives were very close to reaching an accord, but “if the thing isn’tresolved, we have to tell our people to do whatever we need to do in order toprotect our rights [ . . . ] We have to shut down the country if we have to.”• For 30 years, Natives in Ontario have not had to pay provincial sales tax whenmaking purchases anywhere in the province.
• On May 24, 2010, The Couchiching Toll Booth Initiative was enacted upon byCouchiching First Nation Chief and Council as a means to address several issues: 1)The land on which a portion of Highway 11 sits upon was stolen from CFN; 2) Thefederal government has failed to address the contaminated soil sites that have forcedCFN residents from their homes; and 3) all other outstanding claims and grievanceswith the provincial and federal governments.• In early 2009, while assessing property for development on CFN, high levels ofdioxins and furans were found in soil samples located near residential dwellings. Thetoxins were a result of improper waste management of a former sawmill site onreserve land which was leased by Indian Affairs on behalf of the band in the early1900s.• Highway 11 which runs through CFN is a source of economic prosperity forNorthwestern Ontario and the Rainy River District, but the economic prosperity fromHighway 11 comes at CFN’s expense.• On May 31, 2010 (seven days after the Toll Booth Initiative began), CFN received afirm commitment from federal Minister of Indian Affairs Chuck Strahl thatcontaminated lands would be dealt with, as well as negotiations about the Highway 11corridor running through their territory. The community decided to remove the tollbooth from the portion of Highway 11.