In Episode 5 of The Road, Isaac Phan Nay examines how some First Nations are pushing back against Ring of Fire development.

In September 2023, Neskantaga Chief Chris Moonias was in Toronto trying to get a meeting with Premier Doug Ford. He wanted to deliver the message that until Ontario gets his nation’s free, prior and informed consent, Moonias would resist the development of the Ring of Fire mining region in northern Ontario. But Ford refused to meet with the First Nations opposed to development.

So some First Nations have taken to the courts. Neskantaga First Nation is involved in two lawsuits against development in northern Ontario, which could help the First Nations block road and mine development through the courts. Kate Kempton, legal counsel for several First Nations in northern Ontario, says the outcome of the lawsuits could change how governments make decisions about the Ring of Fire — and land in northern Ontario.

“The First Nations’ own ability to control their own fate and future through their own governance structures and laws and having those respected by others has been stolen,” says Kempton.

The Road podcast is a co-production between Isaac Phan Nay and Canada’s National Observer. Funding for this podcast comes from the Gordon Sinclair Foundation. Listen to Episode 5, Resistance, on your favourite listening app.

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