Winneway Aki - In the same spirit as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, celebrated yearly on September 30th, which is a national day to bring forward truth(s) regarding historical harms and past events in a way that brings reconciliation, LPFN raised its flag at the LaRONDE Complexe, Lac Preissac. This symbolic gesture is to affirm its sovereignty over its traditional territory and express to Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM) and other mining companies that wish to exploit LPFN's traditional territory to demonstrate good faith and work with the rightful titleholders of Kakinwawigak Nidakinan, such as the area historically known as Keewagama (Lake Preissac area).
LPFN is one of eleven communities of the Anicinabe (Algonquin) Nation located on unceded ancestral lands located in present-day Ontario and Quebec. For several months, LPFN has been trying to negotiate with AEM an agreement aimed at socio-economic reconciliation under the direction of a Master Plan. The Plan was developed to address ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) criteria implemented by companies that adopt sustainable development principles. This Master Plan is the best approach to establish a long-term and meaningful relationship between the entire Anicinabe Nation and AEM. The agreement must be based on mutual respect and genuine collaboration, which is currently lacking on AEM's side.
According to Chief Henry Rodgers: "AEM has exploited our ancestral unceded territory for more than 50 years with the greatest disregard for our ancestral rights. Despite our attempts to negotiate an agreement with AEM, the company maintains a disrespectful and derogatory attitude towards us even though their LaRONDE Complex sits entirely on LPFN's ancestral lands. AEM's personnel continue to negotiate in bad faith with us by suggesting that they support a nation approach while allowing the community that has the smallest proportion of Anicinabe People within its community to lead the negotiation of an agreement that is contrary to our values and traditional way of life. Wefully disagree with the terms and conditions of the agreement and are the most impacted community by this mining activity and yet we had no say or input into the negotiation. Our entire community is feeling wronged by this injustice through this malicious act and behavior".
For Diane Polson, Elder and member of Council for LPFN, "we have entered into discussions in good faith with the company. However, this good faith is not reciprocated. Senior AEM personnel continue to state their support for the Master Plan and a whole-of-nation approach while simultaneously negotiating side deals with individual communities. This signing of such a terrible agreement is intended to divide our nation by differentiating our communities in terms of benefits to be received while setting an awful precedent and undermining our own community's desire to pursue economic reconciliation and ultimately protecting Mother Earth under the Master Plan. By seeking to isolate LPFN, the most-impacted community by the LaRONDE Complex activities, AEM has violated fundamental principles of sustainable development".
Source: Bradley Polson
Communications Officer LPFN
Cell phone : 873-998-3590