Regional Framework Agreement Discussions
NOTE: only non-confidential documents and descriptions are available on the website. For specific information requests, please contact the RSD office at 807 242-1591
REGIONAL FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT BASICS:
- RFA is a joint political action initiated by the communities and Chiefs of the Matawa-member First Nations based on previous relationships, the Unity Declaration (2011), Judicial Review of Cliffs’ proposed Chromite Project (2012), Regional Strategy (2013), and common history.
- It is a direct response to:
- Mining/Infrastructure development pressure in ROF
- Poor relationships with Ontario’s regulatory bodies
- Inadequate ‘scale’ and approach of Environmental Impact Assessment selected in the ROF
- Based on Chiefs meeting with Premier Wynne in March 2013 and follow-up commitment to a ‘community-driven process of negotiations’ to address key regulatory issues (‘rules of the game’) that hinder First Nations involvement in decisions on our land
May 2013-March 2014: Discussions among Chiefs, communities, and Crown representatives regarding potential content of the Regional Framework Agreement
- RFA set out principles of the relationship, and key objectives:
- Enhancing First Nations participation in EA processes and Environmental management;
- Developing improved infrastructure planning processes;
- Improving community well-being conditions; and,
- Negotiating Revenue Sharing arrangements.
- RFA was signed in March 2014; with negotiations to begin in Fall 2014. The document is publicly-available at: https://www.mndm.gov.on.ca/sites/default/files/rof_regional_framework_agreement_2014.pdf
MORE news and links available from Matawa First Nations Management, who employs coordinating staff to serve the needs of EFN and the other First Nations in this process: http://www.matawa.on.ca/department/regional-framework/
- The collective actions of the 9 First Nations has brought Ontario to the table to give our members a greater say over any potential development of the Ring of Fire, to better-protect our lands for current and future generations, and benefit in new ways that actually improve community life.
- We are committed to voicing the concerns and interests of EFN members, and have been fighting hard to build a process that will be community-driven, but there are many challenges with any regional political action. EFN produced a short documentary outlining the process of entering the RFA discussions and community-level viewpoints on some of the initial RFA objectives. Please see below and share with your family and other community members.
This storyline is still ongoing and evolving…
Discussions with the Premier and various ministries have been challenging but useful, and our community has a vital role to play in improving the way that Ontario recognizes our rights and jurisdiction in the region. This is especially true for the regulatory processes and systems in place for assessing major projects and plans in our homelands.
In November 2016, the Chiefs Council presented an updated joint workplan for tasks to be completed in partnership with Ontario, according to the major agree-upon objectives of the RFA. We are working toward achieving progress in each of the following areas in the current year:
- Community Benefits Fund (CBF)
- Community Access Roads
- Regional Environmental Monitoring and Planning
- Enhanced Environmental Assessment
- Federal Involvement
- Additional matters
Please contact the Resource Stewardship Department staff for more information, ask questions, and participate in our meetings and discussions in Eabametoong and off-reserve. More information will be available within these sessions. In addition to this, we have begun posting relevant news articles and resources in the EFN in the news section of our website.
ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT VIDEO:
EFN’s team developed this video as a brief introduction to some of the issues we will be discussing in this area of the RFA negotiations. This provides some useful background, and we are hoping that you find it helpful and a good conversation-starter. If you have comments or thoughts to share with our team after watching this video, please come by the office or call anytime.