The Chief of Neskantaga First Nation says he's willing to die to ensure his community's rights are protected in the Ring of Fire.

Neskantaga is located at the headwaters of the Attawapiskat River, where the proposed Cliffs mine would be located.

Chief Peter Moonias says he's worried the mine will destroy his community, both from environmental and cultural perspectives.

"They're going to have to cross that river, and I told them if they want to cross that river, they're going to have to kill me first. That's how strongly I feel about my people's rights here," Moonias told CBC News.

Moonias said last week's announcement by the province saying the project was going ahead made him feel like he'd been "sold."

On Monday, lawyers for Neskantaga sent a letter to Rick Bartolucci, Ontario's Minister of Northern Development and Mines. It says Ontario may have broken the law by striking a deal with Cliffs.

Cliffs plans to start mining chromite in the Ring of Fire area by the end of 2013.