Marten Falls First Nation (MFFN) Community Access Road

May E-Blast 2024
Current and upcoming activities

Welcome to the MFFN Community Access Road May 2024
E-Blast with updates on current and upcoming activities.

This E-Blast features:



Field Studies Update

Spring Groundwater and Geochemistry Field Program is expected to take place from June 2 to 9, 2024. Water samples will be collected from monitoring wells along the proposed route alternatives and are important for evaluating groundwater health in the area. Groundwater samples are tested for things like minerals, dissolved metals, volatile compounds, and radiological content.

If you are located in the study area, you may notice an increase in air traffic as the sampling sites will be accessed by helicopter. Crews may need to remove naturally fallen trees or branches from existing helipad sites to allow safe helicopter access.

For full details on this field program, please find the notice here: Spring Field Notice April 2024 - Updated

The Caribou Collar Retrieval / Mortality Investigation Program took place between April 20 – 24, 2024. During the program, 5 dropped collars were retrieved, in addition to retrieving 1 additional collar from a mortality site investigation. The next Caribou Collar Retrieval Program will occur in Winter 2025 when there is enough snowfall for recapturing.

A photo of a person’s hands and a red bucket collecting a groundwater sample from a well.

*Timelines and programs are approximate and may shift; we will provide updates as required.

MFFN in the News

A photo of poster paper with sticky notes attached.

Image by APTN National News

Indigenous Loan Guarantee Program Available in 2024 Federal Budget

The Government of Canada has announced the launch of the Indigenous Loan Guarantee Program in the 2024 annual budget. This program is designed to unlock access to capital for Indigenous communities and help remove barriers previously blocking Indigenous participation in natural resource and energy projects.

The $5-billion loan guarantee program will hopefully encourage more natural resource and energy projects with active Indigenous participation, and will provide current First Nations projects with additional capital.

For more information, read Daily Commercial News’ article here: Indigenous project financing plan praised as game-changer (

First-ever National First Nations Economic Forum

First Nations community members, leaders, organizations and partners from coast-to-coast met for the first-ever First Nations Economic Forum in Winnipeg, Manitoba from May 13-14, 2024.

Hosted by a variety of national Indigenous organizations, the forum focused on ways to advocate for economic development supports with the federal government. Financial literacy, nation-to-nation trade and Indigenous-led policy reform were among the suggestions made during the forum.

This forum could be a catalyst in providing future opportunities for achieving economic prosperity for Indigenous people.

To read more about the discussions held during the forum, read here: Economic forum wraps up 2 days of meetings in Winnipeg (


A photo of a man sitting at a table with a vertical banner beside him.

Photo by Austin Campbell,

New Opportunities Through the Employment Readiness Program

The Employment Readiness Project is a joint initiative between Marten Falls First Nation and Webequie First Nation, designed by community members, for community members, and facilitated by the North Superior Workforce Planning Board.

As a community-led program, it addresses the barriers to workforce entry while bolstering the sovereignty and self-government of the First Nations involved. Sharon O’Keese, mentee for Marten Falls, said, “They face the challenge of getting training and because they live in a remote community, it’s hard for them to come out and live in Thunder Bay or wherever they choose to do training – it’s hard for them because they can’t find housing and income.”

This initiative is focused on future development and employment opportunities in northern Ontario, identifying what services are available in each Community, what services could support individuals' pathways to various careers, and how to enable community members to excel in any trade or skillset.

To read the full article, click here: Engagement opens pathways for remote FN communities -

Understanding the Environmental Assessment / Impact Assessment Process

For every major project in Canada, an Environmental Assessment and Impact Statement (EA / IS) must be completed and approved by the federal and provincial government prior to the design and planning of that project. The EA / IS assesses a project’s potential effects to the environment and works to avoid or mitigate those effects.

Throughout the process of the EA / IS, key groups are consulted, and information and scientific evidence are gathered, including Indigenous traditional knowledge. A report is produced with this information along with ways to reduce environmental impacts.

The draft EA / IS is underway for the Community Access Road.

What is an Environmental Assessment / Impact Assessment?

  • An Environmental Assessment is a process to identify, predict and evaluate the potential environmental effects of a proposed project. This process happens before decisions about a proposed project are made.

Why do we need to conduct an EA / IS?

  • It helps describe the existing environment;
  • It is a way to gather information to predict the positive, negative, direct or indirect effects that the road may have on the environment;
  • It helps determine ways to avoid or minimize negative effects, and enhance positive effects where possible; and
  • It ensures that engagement is conducted throughout the process and that input and insights from the community are gathered and incorporated.

What are the next steps after the EA / IS?

There are multiple stages needed to reach the completion of the Community Access Road, including:

  • We are currently conducting the EA / IA Process and developing the Preliminary Design in this stage.
  • Once the EA / IS process is approved we will begin the Detailed Design, Pre-Construction Surveys and Permitting.
  • Road Construction, including tendering, will take place after the detailed design, pre-construction surveys and permitting are approved.
  • The final stage includes post-construction monitoring and maintenance.
An aerial photo of Marten Falls First Nation and a river.

Do you have questions about the EA / IS process? Email your questions to

Follow us on social media!

We are now on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram! Follow us to stay up to date on the Community Access Road.

Please contact us at any time with questions or comments, or to schedule a meeting. Meetings can be arranged in-person in any community, in the Thunder Bay area, or online. We want to hear what you have to say!

Questions or comments? Contact us at 1-800-764-9114 or


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