Ontario signs agreements to support First Nations groups

Ontario will upgrade roads in mineral-rich areas and commit to assist with skills training programs for First Nations people.

Premier Doug Ford visits the the Greenstone Gold Mine. – Government of Ontario

Key Takeaways:

  • The Ontario government signed agreements with four First Nations to upgrade roads and build new infrastructure near mineral-rich areas. This improved infrastructure is expected to unlock economic opportunities in resource development and better connect First Nations communities to the province’s highway network.
  • The project prioritizes First Nations involvement by including funding for skills training programs for resource development and ensuring First Nations workers are involved in construction.
  • The agreements go beyond just roads. The project includes funding for a rest stop, relocation of a police station, and collaboration on a pre-charge diversion program.

The Whole Story:

The Government of Ontario has signed Letters of Confirmation with four First Nations to create infrastructure near mineral-rich areas.

Agreements were signed with the Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek, Aroland First Nation, Ginoogaming First Nation and Long Lake #58 First Nation to unlock economic and resource development opportunities in northern Ontario, including future critical minerals projects.

“As we rebuild Ontario’s economy, our government is developing meaningful partnerships with First Nations across Ontario that create real opportunities for economic growth and job creation,” said Premier Doug Ford. “Together with First Nations partners, we’re improving and upgrading northern roads to better connect First Nations communities to the province’s highway network and to support future critical mineral and resource development opportunities. These are all season roads that will support First Nations communities, built by First Nations workers.”

The commitments outlined in the Letters of Confirmation include an agreement to upgrade the roads that connect First Nations communities to the provincial highway network and contain funding for other community infrastructure and skills training programs for First Nations people, including in resource development.

The agreement includes the following:

  • Building and improving the highway infrastructure that will help connect more First Nations communities to the province’s highway network. This work includes maintenance and upgrades to Highway 584 and Highway 11, with work starting this construction season.
  • $1.9 million fromtheMinistry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Developmentfor the Indigenous Workforce Development Program through the province’s Skills Development Fund. The program will provide training and support to secure jobs related to mineral development in the region.
  • $2 million to fund the construction and maintenance of the Migizi Plaza Rest Stop, which will serve the needs of First Nation members, tourists and residents, create jobs and drive revenue for the First Nations and Municipality of Greenstone.
  • The province will work to relocate the Greenstone OPP detachment, with support for the relocation costs from Greenstone Gold Mine. Relocating the station will ensure that people have access to police services, close to home, following the displacement of the station during the mine’s construction.
  • The province will engage with relevant First Nations communities and police services to develop a pre-charge diversion program.

“Our government is proud to build consensus with First Nations leaders around key economic development opportunities in the north,” said Greg Rickford, minister of northern development and Minister of Indigenous Affairs and First Nation Economic Reconciliation. “Through strategic partnerships and critical infrastructure investments, we are laying the foundation for Greenstone to become the new centre of gravity for mining, in partnership with First Nations.”


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