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Indigenous Voices Rally Against Lithium Mining in Northwestern Ontario

Indigenous Voices Rally Against Lithium Mining in Northwestern Ontario

Thunder Bay, ON  – More than 1,400 people have signed a petition opposing lithium mining on Indigenous lands in Northwestern Ontario.

“With a big lithium mine coming into (or near) our traditional lands, it poses a risk to our traditional lands, our people, everything in the vicinity,” says petition starter, Nevaeh Rae, from Thunder Bay, ON. “Indigenous people residing in Northwestern Ontario, Canada, specifically Sandy Lake First Nation, Deer Lake First Nation, KeeWayWin First Nation, and North Spirit Lake First Nation are deeply impacted.”

The petition highlights some of the potential negative impacts on the environment and Indigenous communities if the mining project commences.

“Some impacts of lithium mining in the environmental aspect include using large quantities of water to mine lithium, pollution to waterways, livelihood, our land, the animals and plants (medicines) that Indigenous People depend on, and deforestation, loss of traditions and culture (invasion on historical trap lines that’s been utilized for generations),” added Rae.

According to the petition, a mining company has already surveyed the areas and plans to start their project in 2025.

Quotes from supporters:

“I am from ginoogaming First Nation. All our waters are connected. Hudson Bay Area is home to the biggest freshwater marsh and wet lands in the WORLD. They are our water filters. I’ve had many elders tell me how important our wetlands are. If our filters are poisoned what do you think will happen to the rest of our waters. You can’t drink lithium. Our future generations deserve clean drinking water, we have already faced restrictions and access to water due to many reserves having boil water advisories for years, decades. Enough is enough.” – Kayla Mccraw, Thunder Bay, ON.

“I live in Poplar Hill First Nation. We should take a stand and protect our land.  It has been faithful to our people, it keeps us [and] also kept our ancestors before us, therefore we should do what we can to protect our land for future generations to come.” – Ruth Wassaykeesic, Poplar Hill First Nation.

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About The Author

MUSKRAT Magazine

MUSKRAT is an on-line Indigenous arts, culture magazine that honours the connection between humans and our traditional ecological knowledge by exhibiting original works and critical commentary. MUSKRAT embraces both rural and urban settings and uses media arts, the Internet, and wireless technology to investigate and disseminate traditional knowledges in ways that inspire their reclamation.

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