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PIC MOBERT FN – Citizens of this northwestern Ontario First Nation hope that expanding their land base by 500% will create some economic development opportunities for the band.

“The initialling of this agreement is the end of a long and productive negotiation, but also the beginning of an exciting new opportunity for our community to flourish and grow,” said Chief Johanna Desmoulin about the agreement that would add 16 square kilometres of provincial Crown land to Pic Mobert’s existing 2.86 square kilometre land base.

“It will provide us with the land that we so urgently need to build our community, our identity and our future as a people and a nation so that we may take our rightful place in Canada: economically, socially and politically.”

The chief and council of the First Nation have agreed to take the agreement to its members for a ratification vote, before going forward for ratification by Ontario and Canada. The agreement falls under the tripartite Land and Larger Land Base Framework, which provides land to signatory First Nations that are landless or have small reserves. The Land and Larger Land Base framework was signed in 1991 among Canada, Ontario and six northern Ontario First Nations.

Two final agreements have been completed so far under the Land and Larger Land Base framework: Lake Nipigon Ojibway First Nation (2005) and Sand Point First Nation (2006).

The land is used to meet current and future social and economic needs.

Some 930 citizens live  in Pic Mobert, which is located between White River and Marathon.