Anishinabek Nation opposes the nuclear shipment by Bruce Power Company

Nipissing First Nation, Ontario (UOI) October 2010

Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee says that the Anishinabek Nation wants Bruce Power plans and any other future plans to transport or ship any radioactive waste or contaminated equipment from the decommissioning, refurbishment or routine operation of nuclear reactors through the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River to be rejected.

“The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has failed to fulfill its constitutional duty to consult and accommodate First Nations on contemplated actions that may impact upon constitutionally protected Treaty and Aboriginal rights,” said the Grand Council Chief.

The Anishinabek Treaty and Aboriginal title lands occupy all of the Great Lakes shoreline and a significant part of its basin.  These Treaty and Aboriginal title lands are where the Anishinabek people exercise their constitutionally protected rights to fish, hunt, and gather lake based traditional foods and medicines.

“We, the Anishinabek, have jurisdiction over the Great Lakes as a result of Aboriginal titles and the treaties that have been entered into by First Nations and the Crown,” said Madahbee.

The shipping of radioactive waste or radioactive contaminated equipment has the potential to adversely affect these rights, areas and activities.  The potential for long-lived contamination to the environment and to all living entities is too great and the threat is very real to our communities. The communities of the Anishinabek Nation located within the Great Lakes basin continue to battle many issues that have violated protected rights and has affected the traditional ways of life.

“There has been lack of action from both the Federal and Provincial Governments that has resulted in the contamination of the Great Lakes.  The Federal and Provincial regulatory system has not managed themselves on their own regulations to protect, or conserve the waters, habitats, fish or wildlife of the Great Lakes,” said Madahbee.

The Anishinabek Nation established the Union of Ontario Indians as its political advocate and secretariat in 1949.  The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires that have existed long before European contact.