Wahgoshig First Nation

Wahgoshig First Nation

November 29, 2011 15:29 ET

Wahgoshig First Nation to Appear in Court this Week to Seek Potentially Precedent-Setting Injunction

MATHESON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 29, 2011) - Wahgoshig First Nation is going to court this Thursday, December 1, to seek an urgent injunction to immediately stop drilling operations in a sacred area of Wahgoshig's traditional territory. The area is immediately adjacent to the Wahgoshig reserve and is known to contain burial grounds as well as other archaeological and heritage sites. It is also an area frequented by Wahgoshig community members for hunting, trapping, fishing, medicine gathering, and ceremonial activities.

The motion will be heard in the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto at 10:00 am. Members of the Wahgoshig community will be in attendance and will hold a a ceremony and demonstration at 8:30 am at Queen's Park. The community members will then march to the courthouse at 361 University Avenue.

Solid Gold Resources Corp. is a mining exploration company based near Toronto, Ontario. Wahgoshig community members discovered Solid Gold operating in its territory in the spring of this year. Since that time Wahgoshig has continuously voiced its concerns to Solid Gold about the potential impacts to its traditional territory and rights. Wahgoshig has repeatedly requested that Solid Gold stop drilling and meet to discuss how to ensure the protection of these lands and its culture. These requests have been largely ignored.

Only after urging by the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) did Solid Gold meet with Wahgoshig - once - in early November. At that meeting, Solid Gold president Darryl Stretch refused to cease drilling even temporarily and refused to undertake any archaeological or land-use studies to identify and protect sacred sites.

MNDM then demanded that Solid Gold immediately cease its operations, stating that consultation with Wahgoshig has been inadequate. In spite of this, Solid Gold brazenly continues to drill and bulldoze land that is rich with archaeological and cultural heritage sites and values.

Wahgoshig's injunction motion seeks to put a stop to drilling until the First Nation has been consulted and its concerns over the integrity of sites and values in its traditional territories have been accommodated. The motion has the potential to set a precedent in the province and will have significant ramifications for the relationship between resource development companies, First Nations, and the Crown.

Contact Information

  • Chief David Babin:
    Cell - 705-262-2770
    705-273-2055 (ext. 29)

    Kate Kempton (Legal Counsel):
    Cell - 416-571-6775