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On September 16, 2010, the Ontario Government will vote on the Far North Act. The Act, first introduced in June 2009 by the Ontario Government, would set as an objective the protection of 225,000 square km of the Far North region of Ontario, an area home to a predominantly indigenous population.

However, Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN), a political organization representing 49 First Nation communities in Ontario, argues that the First Nation communities have not been adequately consulted. Further, the Bill has been superimposed on discussions between NAN and Ontario including land-use planning  through the Oski-Machiitawin (OM) process since April 2007.

NAN has on several occasions rejected Bill 191, but has recently increased its pressure as the Ontario Government is slated to sign the Bill into law on September 16, 2010. Conservation organizations have strongly supported the bill, which is tied to previous agreements calling for the protection of 50% of the boreal forest.

For more information on their campaign against Bill 191, please visit NAN’s website.

See also this article which was submitted to the Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy September newsletter.

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