By Scott Harris
Council of Canadians
November 8th, 2011
The Métis Nation of Saskatchewan has passed a resolution to “oppose and prohibit the storage and transportation of high level toxic nuclear waste in Saskatchewan.”
The resolution, which was presented at the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan’s November 5 annual general meeting by President of Fish Lake Métis Local 108 Bryan Lee, garnered the support of about two-thirds of attendees.
The resolution is the latest move by aboriginal and northern communities in Saskatchewan in opposition to attempts by the industry-based Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) to find a “willing community” to site a long-term nuclear waste dump in Saskatchewan.
In July and August the Committee for Future Generations organized the 820-kilometre 7000 Generations Walk from the northern community of Beuaval to the legislature in Regina and began collecting petitions opposing a nuclear waste dump to present to Premier Brad Wall. On October 8, the Committee announced that it had collected over 10,000 signatures on the petition and will be presenting the petitions when the legislature resumes sitting. This is in addition to the 5000 signatures already presented in April by the Coalition for Clean Green Saskatchewan.
On September 30 the Canoe Lake Cree First Nation has passed a Band Council Resolution to prohibit the transportation or storage of high level radioactive waste in Northern Saskatchewan, or anywhere in Saskatchewan. On October 5 trappers of N12 Beauval Furblock unanimously voted at their annual trappers meeting to oppose the storage and transportation of nuclear waste in Saskatchewan. On November 1, Western Region II of the Métis Nation of Saskatchewanpassed a similar resolution at its Regional Council meeting.
The resolution passed on November 5 states, in part, “There is a moral, cultural and spiritual responsibility that exists in Aboriginal communities to provide sound stewardship of the land, water and the air quality of the traditional territories of all Aboriginal people.”
The Council of Canadians’ statement on nuclear power states, “The Council of Canadians rejects nuclear power because it poses an unacceptable risk to people and the environment. It is neither clean, safe, peaceful, nor economic. We are opposed to the further expansion of nuclear power in our country. Faced with climate change and diminishing energy resources globally, we recognize the need for a just transition away from a fossil fuel and nuclear dependent society, while ensuring Canadians access to basic energy needs, to sustainable, publicly funded and publicly delivered energy alternatives that benefit both workers and their communities. We support renewable, non-invasive energy sources (such as solar and wind power), energy efficiency and conservation.”