NETMIZAAGGAMIG NISHNAABEG — Pic Mobert First Nation, 35 kilometres west of White River, has enlarged its territory by 1,038 hectares.
The addition to the reserve was announced last week by Joanna Desmoulin, Chief of Netmizaaggamig Nishnaabeg, federal Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett, and Ontario Minister of Indigenous Affairs Greg Rickford.
The First Nation has already completed a land use plan for the new territory, and work is underway to develop a subdivision and commercial complex near the Trans-Canada Highway.
The addition to the reserve falls under a framework agreement signed by Pic Mobert, Canada, and Ontario in 1991 which recognized that more land was required to facilitate the growth of the First Nation.
In 2015, the parties signed a final agreement that provided a path for expansion for Netmizaaggamig Nishnaabeg outside the land claim process.
"This is an important milestone for the restoration of our unceded traditional lands and for the growth and development of our community. We honour the patience and support of our citizens and the many people on our team, and from Ontario and Canada, who have worked at this over the past 30 years or so," Chief Desmoulin said.
An additional 1,627 hectares will be transferred to Pic Mobert First Nation in the near future.