First Nations sign agreement with First Mining Gold Corp.
Tim Brody - Associate Editor
Lac Seul First Nation, Slate Falls First Nation, and Cat Lake First Nation have signed a negotiation protocol agreement with First Mining Gold Corp.
Nearly a year ago the three First Nations signed a shared territory protocol agreeing to share certain geographic areas (the “shared territory”) based on traditional use and impact, and to share ownership in development and management of natural lands and resources within their territory to maximize benefits for each community.
“Under the negotiation protocol, First Mining and the Shared Territory Protocol Nations will work together in a responsible, cooperative and productive manner in relation to the development of First Mining’s Springpole Gold Project (“Springpole”).
“To achieve this, a joint development team (“JDT”) consisting of representatives from each Shared Territory Protocol Nation and from First Mining will be established. The JDT will meet quarterly to review and discuss First Mining’s exploration and development activities at Springpole within the Shared Territory,” a press release issued by First Mining Golf Corp explained.
The Springpole site is located west of Slate Falls and south of Cat Lake.
Lac Seul First Nation Chief Clifford Bull stated, “The signing of the negotiation protocol, and the shared territory protocol among the shared territory protocol nations, clearly demonstrates the willingness of all parties to work together collaboratively and effectively to ensure that the benefits from resource extraction in the shared territory are shared justly and fairly amongst our communities and industry partners. This is truly a great, historic day.”
Slate Falls First Nation Chief Lorraine Crane commented, “I have been an advocate for development in the shared territory that will result in education, jobs, and future opportunity for our youth. Slate Falls wanted to be engaged in this process to ensure that Slate Falls First Nation’s values are truly reflected in our partnership with First Mining Gold Corp. I want to thank my fellow Chiefs, the Municipality of Sioux Lookout, and First Mining for their contributions that led us to this final negotiation protocol.”
Cat Lake First Nation Chief Ernie Wesley stated, “Our community is very excited to be developing this project with First Mining. We have hope and confidence that the signing of these partnership agreements will bring jobs and economic benefits to the Cat Lake First Nation and all partner communities in our shared territory. We are looking forward to working with First Mining on all of their projects in our shared territory.”
First Mining Gold Corp CEO Jeff Swinoga shared, “We are very pleased to have signed this important and historic negotiation protocol with the Lac Seul First Nation, the Slate Falls First Nation, and the Cat Lake First Nation. First Mining greatly values its strong and trusting relationship with each of these communities, and with all Aboriginal communities in our project areas.
“As we advance our flagship Springpole Gold Project through permitting, construction, and toward production, we look forward to a positive, long-term relationship with the shared territory protocol nations to create benefits, employment, and opportunities to improve economic prosperity and quality of life. We believe it is very important to have a local community-based, environmentally responsible approach to our mineral project development within the shared territory and First Nation lands in general, which is both culturally sensitive and respectful of constitutional rights.”
First Mining plans to work with the shared territory protocol nations to finalize exploration agreements at Springpole.