ONTARIO: Aboriginal chiefs not consulted over logging
- Aboriginal chiefs not consulted over logging
Ottawa - Aboriginal people in Ontario are angry they're being left out of the consultation process when it comes to forestry development on treaty land.
Ministry of Natural Resources is considering logging north of Sioux Lookout.
Deputy grand chief of the Ontario Cree, Raymond Ferris, says while the Ministry has heard from some communities, he's worried that their Cree and Ojibwa neighbours further north haven't had their say.
Ferris wants the government to spend more resources looking at how the industry will affect communities.
"The chiefs have passed policies and procedures on how we want to be consulted," says Ferris. "So far, the government is not listening to that. So, we probably will be having a conflict or confrontation if the government proceeds the way they're going."
Ferris says logging roads disrupt native rights to hunt and trap.
Assistant deputy minister Mike Willick says the native community, and not the government, initiated the forestry development plans in the first place.
"Some aboriginals that are in the area immediately north of where we practice forestry have been indicating to us that they're interested in developing forest harvesting opportunities. So, when someone comes to the door and says they'd like to do this, we work with them," says Willick.
The chiefs plan to present their concerns to the Ministry of Natural Resources this week.
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