Atikameksheng First Nation: Maps, Maple Syrup, and Mining
Atikameksheng Anishnawbek was a First Nations community near Sudbury, Ontario. The reserve, described in the Robinson-Huron Treaty of 1850, encompassed much of the Sudbury mining camp, which produced an estimated CA$1 trillion of mineral resources. At issue was the boundary of the reserve, which was much smaller than agreed upon, and whether Atikameksheng could claim a share of the value. The reserve had not been surveyed until 34 years after the treaty was signed, which resulted in discrepancies, the most significant being that the surveyed reserve boundaries were much smaller than agreed upon and described in the treaty, thus excluding a great deal of the mineralized land. Atikameksheng did not have any agreements in place, nor was the community receiving compensation from the two largest companies mining the land, despite the high value of extracted minerals. In 2018, in the context of the ongoing boundary and compensation disputes, the chief had to decide how best to focus his energies to facilitate community economic development. Ron Mulholland is affiliated with Laurentian University.