Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

March 7, 2011

Anishinabe women: Halt nuclear waste through Great Lakes

Press statement
CHRISTIAN ISLAND, ONTARIO – Anishinabe Kweag, the group of women who successfully protested Site 41 is calling on Bruce Power to halt it's plans to ship 16 decomissioned nuclear steam generators through the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.
The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River have been the source of life for over 30 000 years for the Anishinabe People, as well as the Algonquin, Mohawk, Cree and other Indigenous Nations. We will, by any and all means, protect the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River from this potential hazard” says Vicki Monague, spokesperson for Anishinabe Kweag.
“We have respectfully called upon Bruce Power to stop its plans to transport the decommissioned nuclear steam generators. Their own original plan (when the generators were built) would have allowed the steam generators with radioactive waste to be safely stored on site, of which Bruce Power would assume full responsibility for what they have created without needlessly exposing our waterways to potential hazards”.
It is the role of Indigenous People to unify and solidify with our non-native brothers and sisters who now share in this great land against the abuses of our great Mother Earth. We must stand together in solidarity to oppose the shipment of nuclear waste by Bruce Power to Sweden, which will set an evil precedent, opening our shared water ways for future transport of nuclear waste from this and other nuclear plants in Ontario”.
"Furthermore, the approval of this proposal and issuing of the license by a federal authority directly contradicts Canada's endorsement of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which states full and effective participation in all matters that concern our people, lands and waters.
"No treaty exists in North America where Indigenous people have given up their Rights to Water. Even before the this endorsement, Canada has always had the fiduciary obligation to consult and accommodate First Nations people, that clearly has not been exercised in this case” says Monague.
On February 4, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission authorized Bruce Power without the full and informed consent of Indigenous Peoples to transport 16 decommissioned steam generators to Sweden for recycling. This is the first of four shipments being planned, with a total of 64 decommissioned steam generators. On March 22nd the St. Lawrence Seaway opens for the season, allowing Bruce Power to begin shipment.
"We, as Anishinabe Kweag, cannot allow this shipment to occur" - Monague
Anishinabe Kweag: Protecting Our Future Generations is a group comprised of Indigenous Women and Children whose traditional role is to care for the sacred element of Water and ensure its usable continuation for the next Seven Generations. Anishinabe Kweag: Protecting Our Future Generations formed in May 2009 to oppose (successfully) the development of a landfill on a pristine aquifer known as Site 41 in Tiny Township, Ontario
For more information, please contact
Vicki Monague

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