make a donation

CPAWS Helps Build Capacity of First Nations to Respond to Mining in Ontario’s Far North

  • Published on Oct 29 2008 |
  • This article is tagged as: boreal-forest

Oji-Cree Speaking Mining Coordinator Hired

Toronto –CPAWS Wildlands League is pleased to announce that it is launching a new project in Ontario’s far north to support First Nations as they respond to exploration and mining issues.  CPAWS Wildlands League, a leading conservation group in Ontario, welcomes John Cutfeet, as its new Bilingual Mining Coordinator.

Mr. Cutfeet has a strong background in communications, is fluent in Oji-Cree and English, has excellent knowledge of the processes of exploration and mining, the Mining Act, and, superb understanding of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights. He is also a member of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug.

“We are thrilled to have him join our team at this critical time,” said Anna Baggio, Director of Conservation Land Use Planning for CPAWS Wildlands League. “Exploration projects are popping up all over the north. The province is currently reviewing its Mining Act, and claim staking continues,” Ms Baggio said.
“We wanted to increase the capacity of First Nations to respond to these issues by hiring someone who lives in the region, speaks the local language and can provide information and advice to communities, where needed and when requested,” Ms. Baggio added.

“The need for land use planning in Ontario has become a priority due to the many competing interests associated in the ever increasing requirement for land and its natural resources. Communities need the best information in order to make informed decisions. It is a privilege and an honour to participate at this critical stage in the interest of fairness to all,” says Mr. Cutfeet.

Mr. Cutfeet has been hired to provide resource assistance to communities by developing and delivering presentations on the Mining Act, process of exploration and mining, mining impacts on Aboriginal Peoples, description of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights and environmental assessment. Mr. Cutfeet will also share information on various community protocols regarding exploration and mining and ensure the inclusion of local and traditional knowledge in discussions.

CPAWS Wildlands League is grateful to the support of a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation for making this project possible.  The Ontario Trillium Foundation is an agency of the Government of Ontario. For over 25 years, the Foundation has supported the growth and vitality of communities across the province. It continues to strengthen the capacity of the volunteer sector through investments in community-based initiatives. For more information, please visit


For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:

John Cutfeet, Bilingual Mining Coordinator, (807) 537-2054, email at
Anna Baggio, Director, Conservation Land Use Planning, (416) 971-9453 x 47 or (416) 453-3285 cell