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First Nations, province partner to unlock jobs in the Ring of Fire

First Nations, province partner to unlock jobs in the Ring of Fire

TORONTO — Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations will be submitting a Terms of Reference for the proposed Northern Road Link Environmental Assessment in Ontario’s Ring of Fire region.

The proposed road is the final piece of road infrastructure needed to ensure reliable, all season access to potential mining sites in the Ring of Fire and connect both First Nations communities to Ontario’s highway network.

The Ring of Fire is located approximately 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay and covers about 5,000 square kilometres. The critical mineral deposits found in the Ring of Fire would help create unprecedented economic prosperity across the Far North, explains a release.

In partnership with the Ontario government, the Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations are co-leading the planning of the Northern Road Link project. Ontario has committed close to $1 billion to support critical legacy infrastructure such as the planning and construction of an all‑season road network, and investments in high-speed internet, road upgrades and other community supports.

Connecting the mineral rich opportunities in the Ring of Fire with manufacturing sectors in southern Ontario would support the province in becoming a leading producer across North America of the critical minerals needed for electric vehicles and a clean economy, adds the release.

“Our partnership sets a new precedence in the region on Indigenous proponency,” said Chief Bruce Achneepineskum of the Marten Falls First Nation in a statement. “As we prepare to submit the Terms of Reference for the Northern Road Link project it is important to remember why we are here and what this represents. We are leading the Northern Road Link because the project is in our traditional territory and we are exercising our right to self-determination. This represents a potentially bright future for our future generations, for our neighbours, and for the region.”

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