The Algonquin Land Claim is entering its next phase. New public consultations take place next month in Nipissing to discuss potential environmental effects of transferring the settlement lands to the Algonquins. The claim covers 36,000 square kilometre in Eastern Ontario which is home to 1.2 million people. The public can read and comment online about what the draft environmental report contains. To read and comment on the report go to www.Ontario.ca/algonquinlandclaim until October 17th. The consultation meetings for Nipissing are September 20th in Mattawa at the Mike Rodden Arena and the 21st in Callander at Legion Branch 445. Both meetings run 4:00pm to 8:00pm. The Algonquins say they have Aboriginal rights and title to the land which have never been extinguished. The Algonquins add they have continuing ownership of the Ontario part of the Ottawa and Mattawa River watersheds and the natural resources. The land claim’s boundaries are mostly based on the watershed, which the Algonquins used in the past. If the claim is resolved, it will result in the first modern-day treaty protected by constitution. MPP for Nipissing, Vic Fedeli, is asking residents in the affected area to take the time and be part of this important process to ensure your voice is heard.