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Toronto, Mar 15 (Canadian-Media): Concerned that Ontario proceed with its planned repeal of the Far North Act, Donny Morris, the chief of northern Ontario First Nation said whatever rules and regulations replace it, Ontario will have to work with his community's own laws, media reports said.
Far North Act is reportedly an Act with respect to land use planning and protection in the Far North
First Nations in Ontario constitute many nations. Common First Nations ethnicities in the province include the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, and the Cree. In southern portions of this province, there are reserves of the Mohawk, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Seneca and Tuscarora.
Ontario's proposal to do away with the 2010 legislation, enacted to set guidelines for land-use planning in the far north has drawn criticism from First Nations, saying they were never consulted when the previous Liberal government enacted it.
"The Far North Act may be on its way out, but our laws, our Indigenous legal orders will remain," Morris's letter said.
"Repeal your laws but respect our laws," Morris's letter stated.
"We had never recognized or acknowledged the Far North Act, we never took any funds that they provided for land use planning," Morris told CBC News. "I just sent a letter to them ... we have a treaty-based understanding with both levels of governments...and that mutual respect should be shown."
"We as a government up north will determine our future ... don't impose any of your new rules or whatever you're trying to impose on us."
The proposed repeal of the Far North Act is open to public comment until April 11.
The press secretary for Indigenous Affairs Minister Greg Rickford said the government will continue to engage with northern First Nations during the consultation process "and discuss how we can collaboratively open the north up for business."
Morris had not got a response to his letter and said,
"We'll be willing to sit down and hash out our boundary, our territory and our rules and policies with them."