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Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug peoples against platinum exploration by Platinex Inc., Ontario, Canada

Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug protect their traditional lands and waters in response to Platinex Inc acquired mining interests 19 km2 in their territory.


The Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) First Nation is a community of 1,500 people living in an isolated reserve community on the Northern Shore of Big Trout Lake, approximately 700 km North of Thunder Bay, Canada. Like many reservations (which are "tracts of land, the legal title to which is vested in Her Majesty, that has been set apart by Her Majesty for the use and benefit of a band"), there is no year-round road access to the KI community, making delivery of essential services difficult, and contributing to a low standard of healthcare, education, and community infrastructure.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug peoples against platinum exploration by Platinex Inc., Ontario, Canada
State or province:Ontario
Location of conflict:Big Trout Lake
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Mineral ore exploration
Specific commodities:Rare metals
Platinum, palladium and rhodium
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Platinex is a small scale mineral exploration firm, which looked to begin drilling for platinum deposits on the territory of the KI nation beginning in 1999. Development of an exploratory drilling camp by Platnix in 2006 on mining claims. There is no specific data on the materials extracted as it appears that Platinex had just set up camp. The population that would be impacted would be the KI nation peoples, population of 1500, but just there land as no one lives where they were to mine.

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Project area:1,900
Level of Investment for the conflictive project5,000,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:1500
Start of the conflict:01/01/1999
Company names or state enterprises:Platinex from Canada - Wanted to mine in Big Trout Lake Area
Relevant government actors:Ontario Court
Court of Appeal
Representatives from the Ontario Crown
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Grassy Narrows First Nation Peoples
Ardoch Algonquin First Nation Peoples (who partnered with the KI which they formed a rally called, ‘Gathering of Mother Earth Protectors’)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) First Nation and Ardoch Algonquin First Nation Peoples
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Land occupation
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Street protest/marches
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Mine tailing spills
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Criminalization of activists
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
New legislation
Project temporarily suspended
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Not sure due to the recent interest of Platinex re-exploring the area of Big Trout Lake as of January 2020 with the aim of selling the the royalty in full or in part to Ontario government, promoting the project as a great opportunity to combat climate change, and will begin talks with the first nation peoples (see ref [7]).
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

[1] Covers Treaty 9 which is the Big Trout Lake area that they are in.
[click to view]

[2] Ontario Mining Act
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[3] Ariss, Rachel. 2017. “Platinex V. Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug: Extraction and the Role of Law in KI’s Struggle for Self-Determination.” Simon Fraser University (7).

Mentions overall conflict and settlement
[click to view]

[4] 2011. “K.I. vs. Platinex: a ‘worst case’ example of community relations” Canadian Business

Ethics Research Network, September 11. Covers the perspective of community relations within the conflict
[click to view]

[5] Murphy, Ava, Gareth Duncan, and Shi-Ling Hsu. 2008. “The Canadian Constitutional Duty to

Consult Aboriginal Peoples: Platinex Inc. v. Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation.” University of British Columbia Faculty of Law.

Law case study of the issue. Contains numerous facts on the case
[click to view]

[6]Ariss, Rachel. 2017. “Platinex V. Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug: Extraction and the Role of

Law in KI’s Struggle for Self-Determination.” Simon Fraser University (7).
[click to view]

[7] 2020. “Platinex Announces Update of Big Trout Lake Platinum-Palladium Royalty.” Platinex:

The Quest for a Greener Planet. Accessed March 3, 2020.

Mentions the reopening of the case that Platinex is pursuing
[click to view]

[8] "Ontario Settles Long-running Land-claims dispute" mentions the conclusion of the conflict and the result
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Maria Sherman, [email protected] and Sabrina Netherwood, [email protected]
Last update27/02/2020
Conflict ID:4964
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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