We First Nations in the James Bay lowlands, whose Territories and Rights stand to be  seriously and permanently desecrated by massive scale mining in the Ring of Fire, hereby  declare a MORATORIUM on any development in or to facilitate access to the Ring of Fire  area. 

This MORATORIUM is declared in accordance with: 

• Our Indigenous Laws including the Natural Laws of the Creator;  

• Our Inherent Rights (arising from the reality that we have always have been “in here” in  this place in the world); 

• Treaty No. 9 between our First Nations and the Crown; 

• International laws including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous  Peoples (UNDRIP) and its requirements for free, prior and informed consent, the  International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and Economic, Social and Cultural  Rights, and customary laws that protect our right to self-determination, require  environmental due diligence, and prohibit destruction of our ability to survive in our  environments; and 

• Canadian domestic laws that adopted and intend to implement UNDRIP (such as the  federal Bill C-15); the federal Impact Assessment Act (IAA); Canada’s Constitution  including section 35 affirming our Aboriginal and Treaty Rights, and the Charter section 7  being the right to life, liberty and security of the person. 

This MORATORIUM is declared from this date and shall stand intact unless and until Canada  and Ontario act in accordance with their obligations under the laws stated above, in respect of  the Ring of Fire, and agree to a Regional Impact Assessment (RIA) that:  

• Is by regulation under IAA (section 114) or by agreement, led by an “Indigenous governing  body” composed of our First Nations and interested others who stand to be affected by  Ring of Fire development; 

• Must be completed prior to the issuance of any Crown permission for any development in  or that facilitates access to the Ring of Fire (including roads); 

• Has a terms of reference co-created between the Indigenous governing body and Canada  and consented to by the Indigenous governing body; 

• Has a terms of reference requiring a broad and deep RIA that thoroughly investigates  cumulative impacts and comprehensively governs through rules, criteria and plans what  development, if any, may occur in the Ring of Fire, when, where and how;

• Has the ultimate objective of ensuring that any approved Ring of Fire development adds  to the sustainability of the global and local environment and all beings who depend on it  for their survival. 

This MORATORIUM is declared because Canada, through the Impact Assessment Agency of  Canada (IAAC) has breached the honour of the Crown, all the laws stated above, and the project  of reconciliation and decolonization by acting with duplicity behind our backs in collaboration with  Ontario, to render the RIA little but political puffery, with mere token First Nation “involvement”,  narrow in its focus and weak in its result. Specifically: 

• Shortly after the IAA came into force in 2019, some First Nations and others requested an RIA under it for the Ring of Fire; 

• Due to these requests, and given that the Ring of Fire begs for an RIA anyway – it is by  definition a regional area for which much large scale mining and infrastructure  development is sought – Canada agreed that a RIA would be held; 

• First Nations have expressed our expectation of equal partnership in the RIA, and have  been requesting since early 2020 to have the RIA, including planning, not commence until  after the pandemic and the crises it has caused in the First Nation communities are over,  to ensure that First Nations could engage in this process safely and in accordance with  our Laws and Customs; 

• Canada agreed to such suspensions of time, and gave assurances that First Nations  would have meaningful involvement at all stages of the RIA, including planning; 

• First Nations have put Canada on notice since late 2020 that they intend to develop a  proposal for a First Nations – led, comprehensive and meaningful RIA that does not allow  Crown governments to use it as a mere window dressing, box-ticking exercise; 

• Despite Canada knowing of First Nations’ intent and agreeing to time to develop this  proposal after the pandemic crisis had ended, Canada now informs us it effectively had  no intent of paying any attention to any such proposal; and that Canada and Ontario have  been collaborating behind First Nations’ backs for the last year to agree on the terms of  reference for the RIA which they will show us in April “for comment”, and in which First  Nations have nothing but token involvement.  

This MORATORIUM is urgently required because, as the caretakers of this part of the Earth  where the Creator put us, we have a profound and sacred duty to ensure that this part of the Earth  is not so wounded from Ring of Fire development that it can longer support our relations and ways  of life, or help protect the world from catastrophic climate change; as the James Bay lowlands  stand as one of the last and most important bastions of defence against climate collapse. 

This MORATORIUM will be defended and enforced by our First Nations, our Mother Earth, and  our lawyers in Canadian courts for Crown breaches of all the laws stated above. The risks are too  great to allow the Crown to steamroll over our Mother Earth, our Rights and our future. 

Canada and Ontario may cause this MORATORIUM to be lifted if they agree to what Canada  had led us to believe it would do: agree to plan and conduct the RIA on terms that respect our  Rights and protect our Mother Earth.