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Ontario’s Ring Of Fire Brings Opportunity And Fears To First Nations – Huffington Post Canada


BETWEEN LONG LAKE No. 58 AND LONGLAC, Ont. — Along this desolate stretch of Northern Ontario highway, an idyllic white chapel is perched on the point of a peninsula next to to a “No Swimming” sign wedged into the poisoned shoreline that juts into glistening Long Lake.

On the opposite side of the Trans-Canada Highway, a downtrodden young man, a filled plastic garbage bag slung over each shoulder, saunters past a long-idle train toward the swampy lowland of the Long Lake No. 58 First Nations reserve.

There are no job opportunities where he is headed and no businesses, save for a single band-owned gas bar. Dilapidated box houses, many boarded and abandoned, line the three roads that form the reserve.

Two kilometres east is Longlac, the self-proclaimed “Gateway to Northwestern Ontario” and last stop for eastbound travellers — 14 hours from Toronto — in search of a coffee shop or motel ahead of a 200-kilometre stretch of uninhabited land.

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