Biigtigong Nishnaabeg celebrates signing of Community Benefits Agreement and funding for new Cultural Centre

by ahnationtalk on March 17, 202311 Views

From: Indigenous Services Canada

March 17, 2023

Today, Biigtigong Nishnaabeg hosted celebrations for the signing of the Community Benefits Agreement related to the Marathon Palladium Project, a proposed palladium mine located 10 kilometres from Marathon, Ontario and 9.3 km upstream from Biigtigong Nishnaabeg territory along the banks of the culturally important Biigtigig Zibi. The agreement is a partnership between the First Nation and the proponent of the mine, Generation PGM Inc.

The Marathon Palladium Project was approved in November 2022 and will bring new and significant economic opportunities to Biigtigong Nishnaabeg. The Community Benefits Agreement will ensure economic, social and cultural benefits for the First Nation from the proposed palladium mine. The mine is expected to create 100 jobs for Biigtigong Nishnaabeg community members and generate revenue for companies owned and operated by the First Nation.

Joining the celebrations were Chief Duncan Michano of Biigtigong Nishnaabeg and Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services Canada.

As part of these celebrations, Chief Michano and Minister Hajdu also announced funding for a new Cultural Centre that will be built on community-owned lands. For this project, the federal government will invest $4.1 million, of which $3.6 million will come from the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada, and $500,000 will come from Indigenous Services Canada.

The community will design the centre, helping to revitalize culture, provide land-based and traditional education, and facilitate healing and wellness through reconnection with the land. The centre will focus on intergenerational knowledge sharing, and its programming will be designed to ensure the centre is a safe space for vulnerable and at-risk individuals. Construction is scheduled to begin in spring 2023.


“The Cultural Centre will provide our First Nation members the opportunity to gather within the pristine lands of our territory. Our goal is to maintain the land’s natural solitude and beauty while offering a unique space where our members can gather for learning, programming and healing. We are excited about the prospects this project offers today and into the future.”

Chief Duncan Michano
Biigtigong Nishnaabeg

“Today, we congratulated Biigtigong Nishnaabeg on their signing of a Community Benefits Agreement related to the Marathon Palladium Project and we celebrated the announcement of a new Cultural Centre for the community. Biigtigong Nishnaabeg is deeply connected to its rich culture and tradition. This new Cultural Centre will help the community maintain those connections for generations to come. At the same time, I’m excited about the good jobs and business opportunities coming to the First Nation as a result of their partnership in the Marathon Palladium Project. Chief Michano and the community have worked hard to ensure a prosperous future for Biigtigong Nishnaabeg.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Indigenous Services

Quick facts

  • Biigtigong Nishnaabeg is located on the Pic River, near south Heron Bay along the northeast shore of Lake Superior, south of the town of Marathon.
  • The First Nation has a registered population of 967, with 537 members living on the reserve.
  • The Government of Canada is providing $4.1 million for the construction of the new Cultural Centre. Of this, the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada is providing $3.6 million (by way of the Strategic Partnerships Initiative-approved terms and conditions), and Indigenous Services Canada is providing $500,000 through the Strategic Partnerships Initiative.
  • The Strategic Partnerships Initiative is an innovative mechanism for federal partners to make collective investment decisions and address gaps in existing programs that would otherwise limit or exclude Indigenous participation in major economic opportunities.
  • On November 30, 2022, the Government of Canada announced its decision to approve the Marathon Palladium Project, following an environmental assessment that included the active participation of Biigtigong Nishnaabeg and six other Indigenous partners.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Debi Bouchie
Chief Executive Officer
Biigtigong Nishnaabeg
Phone: 1-807-229-1749, Ext. 235

Zeus Eden
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Indigenous Services
[email protected]

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada
[email protected]


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