For Immediate Release
9:00 p.m., February 18, 2014
Manto Sipi Cree Nation Blocks Mineral Exploration on Ancestral Lands
Manto Sipi Cree Nation, MB. Manto Sipi Cree Nation announced today that it will block all mineral exploration and work permits on Manto Sipi Cree Nation ancestral lands and will not engage in Crown-First Nation consultation with the Province until all land disputes are addressed and settled. The government of Manitoba recently sent three (3) work permit applications for mineral exploration to Manto Sipi Cree Nation
Chief Michael Yellowback stated, "I have been given a strong mandate to initiate legal, political and defensive action against outside encroachment. Manto Sipi Cree Nation will stop all 3 work permit applications immediately. One of the main issues is that Manto Sipi Cree Nation has exhausted all avenues in dealing with Minister Chomiak on Manto Sipi Cree Nation's land claim which is on an EXPIRED mineral claim purportedly held by Jim Campbell. The Minister's legal position and opinion on this Godslith Claim has been refuted by our lawyers, so we will challenge it in court".
Councillor Daniel Ross said, "We offered a negotiation process on the Godslith Claim matter but Minister Chomiak has chosen to extend the mineral claim in Johnson Bay without notice and has also sent two more notices on the mineral exploration work permit applications in Elk Island and Little Stull Lake areas."
Councillor Roger Ross added, “Johnson Bay and Little Stull Lake areas are Manto Sipi Cree Nation citizen's trapline areas and Elk Island is our Treaty Land Entitlement selection area to be converted as reserve lands. We will resist all mineral exploration applications, and if we have to escort Jim Campbell from our ancestral lands, we will".
Chief Yellowback concluded, "We have witnessed the NDP government's failure to do proper consultations with other First Nations and we don't want no part of it. We already got a taste of his unsavory antics and his use of the Mining Advisory Council to abridge consultation and community benefits. Furthermore, Manto Sipi Cree Nation will not recognize the Minister’s Mining Advisory Council. I want to remind everyone Manto Sipi Cree Nation’s position is on the duty to negotiate resource equity not on the duty to consult. We are very cautious and leery of Minister Chomiak's tactics and misinformation to the public about First Nation-Crown consultation."
For further information contact: Chief Michael Yellowback, Manto Sipi Cree Nation at 1-204-366-2011.