THUNDER BAY, ON – JUNE 8, 2010: Ginoogaming First Nation Chief and Council are frustrated with Indian Northern Affairs Canada’s (INAC) bureaucratic land permit process.
Ginoogaming has plans to construct an Industrial Park on their First Nation land and open it to house engineered wood projects that will tie to their newly purchased two plants (plywood and wafer board) that sit on nearby municipal land previously owned by Kruger Industries with Ginoogaming being a one-third owner through its development arm Rocky Shore Development Corporation. These major initiatives are expected to commence soon and Ginoogaming’s leaders cannot stand by and let this economic opportunity disappear. The projects will have many benefits to the First Nation and non-First Nation communities in the surrounding area.
“It is very unfortunate to be put into this situation, what we see, is as an archaic, cumbersome, regulatory INAC process; one that can only delay projects for years and years,” stated Chief Celia Echum. “I feel this is the old way of doing business and is something that Ginoogaming should not accept, in this day and age, as there has to be avenues found to work with us to move our projects ahead in a much, much shorter time frame,” Chief Echum said.
Adolph Rasevych, Ginoogaming’s Economic Development Advisor, has also catalogued 20 economic and resource development plans for the community such as to house an Anishinabek Police Service building, a community store, a gas bar and later a casino development, to mention a few.
“I don't believe INAC’s plan is to sit back and simply throw the Land Designation, Indian Referendum and Department of Justice requirements at us,” stated Adolph Rasevych. He feels that INAC at wherever, be it at district, at region or at system headquarters or any provincial or federal government would want to see a First Nation with plans for good economic progress falter but would rather find ways to accelerate its development,” Rasevych said.
Ginoogaming First Nation filed a First Nation Band Council Resolution and formal complaint last week, escalating the issue to Chuck Strahl, Minister Indian and Northern Affairs at Ottawa, and provincial and federal members of Parliament. The regional, national and grand Chief’s offices were also made aware.