Support Saugeen Ojibway Nation's right to prior consent on a major nuclear project

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First Nations have the right to free, prior and informed consent to developments on our lands and waters. As members of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON), the collective of the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation and the Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation, we request that the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission recognize our indigenous nation’s right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) on Bruce Power’s proposed Major Component Replacement (MCR) Project. We look to you, members, leaders and allies to show your support for this cause.

Bruce Power’s proposed multi-billion dollar MCR Project extends the life of Units 3-8, which means the facility will be able to operate on our Territory for another 30-35 years. They have included this major project in their license renewal application for Crown consideration and approval this spring so that they are able to begin construction in 2020.

This project will have serious impacts on the water in Lake Huron, on the land, and will produce an immense amount of nuclear waste at the site. Our rights as Indigenous peoples must be respected.

Our People have been here since time immemorial, governing and caring for our lands and waters in a way that respects our relationships and interconnectedness with all of Creation. We never gave up our right to these relationships within our territory. Our right to govern, care for and benefit from our territory is deeply connected to the survival of our People. The values and actions of our ancestors considered us and we must consider those yet to come. A community-driven free, prior and informed consent-based process will mean that our nation will have the time to carefully consider the impacts and discuss and dialogue with one another on what this project will mean for our people and our territory, now and into the future.

Our nation was never consulted when the nuclear facility, now known as Bruce Power, was built in our territory. It is time to correct this wrong-doing. The MCR Project will have harmful impacts that we have yet to fully understand.

We have not been given the time, space and resources as required to do the work we need to. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and the Government of Canada must recognize that the MCR Project cannot happen without the Free, Prior and Informed Consent of our nation.

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to which Canada is now signatory, provides that the State shall, “obtain [Indigenous] free, prior and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting [Indigenous] lands or territories and other resources”. Our rights as Indigenous peoples cannot be overlooked as we try to find a path toward Indigenous-Crown reconciliation.

Join us in asking our nation’s right to FPIC be respected on this major project, that will impact our people, lands and waters for generations to come.