SOLID GOLD RESOURCES SETS MINING INDUSTRY/FIRST NATIONS RELA

SOLID GOLD RESOURCES SETS MINING INDUSTRY/FIRST NATIONS RELA

Postby Oscar » Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:38 pm

SOLID GOLD RESOURCES SETS MINING INDUSTRY/FIRST NATIONS RELATIONS BACK 100 YEARS

Circulated on behalf of Wahgoshig First Nation

December 11, 2011 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Solid Gold Resources Corp., a junior mineral exploration company with head offices near Toronto is engaging in practices reminiscent of the early 1900s and is threatening the foundations that have only recently been established in industry/First Nations relations. Solid Gold began drilling in the traditional territory of Wahgoshig First Nation without any prior consultation. Since Wahghoshig discovered the company on its lands, the company has refused to stop drilling despite the protests of the Wahgoshig community and despite a letter from Ontario imploring the company to stop. The area is sacred to Wahgoshig and is replete with cultural heritage values such as burial grounds and other archaeological sites, many of which remain undiscovered. Despite this, Solid Gold refuses to cease its drilling operations and refuses to fund any studies that would locate buried sites before drilling takes place.

The brazen actions of Solid Gold have caught the attention of numerous influential First Nations organizations. The Chiefs of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation recently passed a resolution calling for an immediate suspension of Solid Gold’s drilling operations on the territory. The resolution also supported the efforts of Wahgoshig to protect its Aboriginal and treaty rights in its traditional territory.

The Chiefs of Ontario have also thrown their support behind Wahgoshig. Angus Toulouse, the Regional Chief of Ontario recently sent a letter to the Minister of Natural Resources, Minister of Northern Development and Mines, and the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs calling on the Ontario government to intervene and stop Solid Gold’s drilling. These statements by the Nishnawbe Aski Nation and the Chiefs of Ontario should concern the mining industry given the modern-day need for industry/First Nations cooperation in resource development.

For Wahgoshig, a First Nation that has established strong working relationships with a number of resource development companies, Solid Gold’s actions are shocking. “This company has been told by everyone that it needs to stop drilling and listen to the community so that we can effectively protect the environment and our culture; yet it has not done so,” says Chief David Babin of Wahgoshig. “It makes me think of the old days when companies would just walk in to our territory and do what they like. It’s not the 1900s anymore; we have rights and values in these lands and they need to be respected. We know there are great resource development companies out there and we are happy to work with them, but this company’s actions look bad for the entire mining and exploration industry.”

Wahgoshig is pursuing an injunction to cease drilling operations, and after numerous adjournments, is scheduled to argue the motion on December 20, 2011 in the Superior Court in Toronto.

“We are very upset that we have been unable to argue our injunction before this date,” says Chief Babin. “Solid Gold has told us they are racing to complete their current exploration program before the end of this year. If they have completed their program or have almost completed their drilling before then, this will be justice delayed, resulting in justice denied for our First Nation. However, if we succeed in getting an injunction it could still prevent further drilling by Solid Gold next year and we hope would send a strong signal that First Nations’ constitutionally protected rights mean something in Canada.” - 30 -

For further information please contact:
Chief David Babin:
Cell – 705-262-2770
Office – 705-273-2055 (ext. 29)
Kate Kempton (Legal Counsel):
Cell – 416-571-6775
Office – 416-981-9374
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Oscar
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