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About Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug
ᑭᐦᒋᓇᒣᑯᐦᓯᑊ ᐃᓂᓂᐧᐊᐠ - Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation / Big Trout Lake
Our community is located 580 km north of Thunder Bay, accessible by air or winter roads. Our community speaks Anihshininiimowin or Oji-Cree. Our traditional way of life is very much alive. We can hunt, fish, trap, and live off the land. Our ancestors protected these rights for us when they adhered to Treaty 9 with the British Crown in 1929-1930. Their intent was to protect our way of life, our independence, and traditions, for as long as the sun shines and the rivers flow. Our Elders, who carry the knowledge bequeathed to us by our ancestors, are very clear that we never surrendered title to our lands in signing this treaty. This interpretation was imposed by the government later. Our understanding is that the treaty is about cohabitation and sharing the land.
This has not stopped government from interfering in our community's affairs, first by imposing the Indian Act and reserve system on us, breaking up the communities which used to be one big community into different reserves,and granting mining explorarion licenses on our land without our consent.
Recently, Platinex, a mining company, has been claiming prospecting rights to our land, and has tried to conduct exploration, although we have never consented to this activity. This mine, if opened, would destroy the waters we fish in and live on. As such, it is a fundamental violation of our Indigenous and treaty rights. Our chief and five councillors went to jail in 2008 to defend these rights, and to prevent mining exploration and development from taking place on our land.