NEMASKA, EEYOU ISTCHEE, QC, Oct. 7, 2014 /CNW/ - The James Bay Cree Nation has today launched standagainsturanium.com and #standagainsturanium, a website and social media campaign expressing the Crees' firm opposition to uranium development in their territory of Eeyou Istchee. The website serves to inform the Crees, as well as the broader public in Quebec and elsewhere, about the risks associated with uranium mining. Standagainsturanium.com is also intended to provide a forum for the public to share their opinions, post photos and videos, and demonstrate their support for the Cree Nation's fight to stop uranium development in Eeyou Istchee.
"We're excited to launch standagainsturanium.com and #standagainsturanium," said Grand Chief Dr. Matthew Coon Come. "The Cree Nation has been vocal about our opposition to uranium mining, and this is another step in our campaign to ensure that our voices are heard and that our lands are protected. We have said from the start that once Quebecers learned the true facts about uranium, they will join with the Cree Nation in our stand against uranium."
In August 2012, the Cree Nation enacted a resolution banning all uranium exploration, mining and waste emplacement in Eeyou Istchee. This resolution was the result of a community-led process during which the Cree Nation hired experts and consulted with community members. Ultimately, the Cree Nation concluded that the long-term risks associated with uranium mining imposed too large a burden on future generations, who would be dealing with the consequences of radioactive and toxic waste for thousands of years.
"Uranium development is incompatible with Cree values, culture and way-of-life. While much has changed over the years, we Crees continue to live off the land, to practice our traditional lifestyle and to pass these traditions on to our children," continued Grand Chief Coon Come. "Respect for the land is the cornerstone of our way-of-life."
In recent years, uranium has become a controversial topic in Quebec. In November 2013, the Quebec Minister of the Environment refused to grant a permit to Strateco Resources to pursue the Matoush Project, the most advanced uranium project to date in Quebec, located on family hunting grounds of the Cree Nation of Mistissini. The Minister stated that the project could not proceed in light of the absence of social acceptability, particularly amongst the Crees. The Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement (BAPE) is currently conducting hearings on the future of the uranium industry in Quebec. The public will have the opportunity to make submissions during the third phase of the BAPE's hearings in November and December 2014.
For more information, and to join the Cree Nation's stand against uranium, please visit: standagainsturanium.com
SOURCE: The Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)
For further information: Bill Namagoose, Executive Director, Telephone: (613) 761-1655, Cellular: (613) 725-7024; Me Jessica Orkin, Legal counsel, Cellular: (514) 260-2622