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New public opinion polling shows significant support for First Nations benefiting from Ring of Fire mineral development

Friday, June 22nd 2012 11:44:51am

Municipality of Greenstone and Aroland First Nation release polling results

Media Release

(Greenstone, ON, June 22, 2012)
Ontario-wide polling indicates that while there is a low level of awareness of the massive Ring of Fire mineral find, Ontarians believe that area First Nations have an important role in shaping the area’s future. The poll was undertaken in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding between the Municipality of Greenstone and Aroland First Nation (a member of the Matawa Tribal Council).

The telephone poll of 1,000 randomly selected Ontarians was conducted June 8 –13, 2012 by OraclePoll Research.

Greenstone Mayor, Renald Beaulieu observed, “This research was undertaken to better understand Ontarians’ opinion of the position that Greenstone supports – that, Ring of Fire resources should be processed in or smelted in the First Nation territory where they are found. The polling indicates that many more people support this position than oppose it.”  

Aroland First Nation Chief, Sonny Gagnon commented, "We are extremely pleased with these research findings; they validate what we have known for a long time. It is important for us to know that the majority of Ontarians support the position that we the First Nations should not allow the mining to happen unless processing occurs in our territory.”

Polling results by question:

Q1. Are you aware of the Ring of Fire mineral discovery in Northern Ontario?

Q2. The Ring of Fire is being developed as a mining project, and it is located in First Nations territory in Northern Ontario. In your opinion, should the Ring of Fire resources be processed or smelted in the First Nations area that it is mined in?

Q3.Should the First Nations have been consulted on this issue?

Q4. Do you support or oppose the position of the First Nations that they will not allow the mining to take place unless it is processed in their territory?


For additional information or to schedule an interview contact:

Vicki Blanchard, Economic Development Officer, Municipality of Greenstone
807-854-1100, vicki.blanchard@greenstone.ca

Chief Sonny Gagnon, Aroland First Nation, 807-620-7195

Paul Seccaspina, CEO, Oraclepoll Research Limited, 705-674-9591

Greenstone (Canada 2006 Census population 4,906) stretches 200km along TransCanada Highway 11  from Lake Nipigon to Longlac. It is one of the largest incorporated municipalities in Canada. Formed in 2001, it combined the Townships of Beardmore and Nakina, the Towns of Geraldton and Longlac with large unincorporated portions of Crown Land covering an area in excess of 3,000 sq.km.

Aroland (2006 Population 325) is an Ojibwa and Oji-Cree First Nation in the Canadian province of Ontario, located in the Thunder Bay District approximately 20 kilometers west of Nakina in Greenstone.

The Ring of Fire is the area in the James Bay Lowlands in Northern Ontario, currently the site of major mining exploration projects (over 30,000 Claims have been staked). It has the potential to be the most significant mineral development in Ontario in over a century. It is centered on McFaulds Lake, 286 km from Greenstone on First Nation traditional lands.

The margin of error for the 1,000-person survey is +/- 3.1%, 19/20 times.