Bob Rae to lead First Nations in Ring of Fire negotiations

Former federal Liberal leader Bob Rae will be the chief negotiator for First Nations in talks with the Ontario government about development of the Ring of Fire.
The Matawa Chiefs Council announced Friday that Bob Rae, former federal leader of the Liberal Party and former Premier of Ontario, will be chief negotiator for Matawa First Nations during regional strategy negotiations with Ontario. Pictured from left to right are Chief Johnny Yellowhead-Nibinamik First Nation, Chief Harry Papah-Eabametoong First Nation, Chief Cornelius Wabasse, Webequie First Nation, The Honorable Bob Rae, Chief Allan Towegishig-Long Lake #58, Chief Sonny Gagnon-Aroland First Nation, Chief Celia Echum-Ginoogaming First Nation, Chief Roger Wesley-Constance Lake First Nation, and Chief Peter Moonias-Neskantaga First Nation. (Supplied)

Former federal Liberal leader Bob Rae will be the chief negotiator for First Nations in talks with the Ontario government about development of the Ring of Fire.

The announcement was made in Thunder Bay on Friday.

The Matawa Chiefs Council announced Friday that Bob Rae, former federal leader of the Liberal Party and former Premier of Ontario, will be chief negotiator for Matawa First Nations during regional strategy negotiations with Ontario. (CBC)

The chiefs of the Matawa Tribal Council said they met with Rae this week to discuss next steps in regards to the proposed negotiations.

Rae will tour all nine Matawa communities in the coming months to meet with community members.

In a news release, the Matawa Tribal Council said the provincial government has not yet responded to its proposal for a regional strategy negotiation framework.

The chiefs reiterated their call for both the Ontario and federal governments to ensure that environmental assessment processes in their traditional territories provide for full participation by First Nations in a culturally appropriate way — and in their native languages.