The Cree want to put an end to uranium development on their land
MISTISSINI, EEYOU ISTCHEE, QC, Nov. 13, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - The final phase of the BAPE hearings on uranium development in Quebec have taken place in Eeyou Istchee in Chisasibi, Mistissini and Chibougamau. At the last BAPE session in Mistissini, members of the Cree Nation of Mistissini, including its chief, Richard Shecapio, said they hoped this final session would put an end to uranium exploration on their land.
The public hearings showed that the Mistissini Cree are backed by numerous scientists. Many researchers who appeared before the BAPE said that the concrete data is lacking to be able to proceed with projects that would clearly have serious consequences for the community of Mistissini. For this reason, the Council of Crees of Mistissini and community members were among the first to sound the alarm over the dangers inherent in uranium exploration.
Chief Shecapio cited the many obstacles his community faced in voicing their concerns about the Strateco Resources Matoush project, located only 215 km north of Mistissini.
"I applaud the resolve and the solidarity of the Cree Nation. Despite the arduous and lengthy process in which it was difficult to obtain the information needed to make an informed decision, Council members acted not only in the best interests of our Nation and its way of life, but also in the interests of Quebec. With the acknowledged detrimental impacts of uranium exploration on the environment and wildlife, we are placed in an unequivocal position, and this is why no such project should go ahead on our land," said Chief Shecapio.
From the outset, Cree community members who appeared before the commissioners were unanimous that there could be no social acceptance of uranium development on their land, Eeyou Istchee.
"The future is determined today; it is in our hands. We are responsible for making the right decisions on behalf of generations to come. We cannot be remembered as irresponsible people who only looked to satisfy their spontaneous economic interests, without regard for the environment and future generations," said Amy Linton, chief of the Mistissini Youth Council, at the last BAPE session.
The Cree Nation recognizes the importance and potential benefits of developing natural resources on its land and is open to responsible, sustainable development. "Given the risks that have been exposed and the developers' lack of expertise for ensuring the complete safety of communities and future generations, we feel the BAPE has no other choice but to recommend a complete moratorium on uranium exploration," said Chief Shecapio.
SOURCE: Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)
For further information: Jean-Alexandre D'Etcheverry, 514-910-1328, [email protected]