By guest contributor Maria Baxter, CCLO for Marten Falls First Nation
In November 2017, a team from Noront Resources visited Marten Falls to meet with community members, Chief and Council, Band Advisor Qasim Saddique and Advisor Lawrence Baxter.
The meeting took place at the Henry Coaster Memorial School gym where we all gathered for an update on development in the Ring of Fire from the asin inini ogima (Rock man boss). The meeting was led by Noront Chief Development Officer Steve Flewelling who highlighted the company’s recent activities and explained how important it is for them to involve First Nation people in the work they are doing.
This opened a dialogue with community members who asked about the type of work that is available and how they could gain employment with the company. Steve said Noront had filled roles like geophysical field assistant, camp support staff, line-cutter, drill helper and cook/ medic with workers from the Marten Falls and Webequie communities who are identified as “tier one” applicants. When a position cannot be filled by these priority communities, qualified workers are hired from other communities.
One of the elders asked why Noront was not re-building an old air strip near the site. It was explained that this would be too expensive due to the amount of work required to make it safe for planes to land for the exploration program.
Noront VP Exploration Ryan Weston gave a presentation on geo mapping and minerals highlighting the Partridge Project (Pinay) and McFaulds No.8, which he described it as a significant new discovery that could represent a potential new zone of mineralization and a VMS (volcanogenic massive sulfide) deposit once drilled. He talked about Noront’s plans to further explore the McFauld’s property and said that any new discoveries will be named after a local bird. Following our meeting, Noront also held an off-reserve meeting in Thunder Bay on December 14, 2017.
Maria Baxter is the Community Communications Liaison Officer (CCLO) for Marten Falls First Nation. The CCLOs role is to provide feedback on early exploration plans, permits, and other authorizations as well as act a liaison between government, industry, community members and community leadership when it comes to matters relating to exploration and mining.