(November 24, 2010, Mistissini) : Following a Mistissini Special Members Assembly on Monday, November 22nd, 2010, a position was established by Chief and Council to reject the proposed Matoush Uranium Project. Chief Richard Shecapio presented this position at the COFEX/COMEX public hearing in Mistissini on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010.
"Strateco failed to engage the community to inform and educate them about the relative risks of this project, or even properly answer their questions," noted Chief Shecapio. "Strateco failed to gain the trust of the people or even really try, this is a major concern for my community."
"Traditional teachings have always been presented with consideration for future generations, to leave them a clean and safe environment, to continue to be the stewards of the land. Our worry is that uranium exploration and mining goes against these principles," added Chief Shecapio. "Specifically - are there lasting effects from this type of mining on the landscape and wildlife in this region? This project is also in close proximity to the ATO Park, and given the potential for tourism, we have worries that a park and uranium project cannot co-exist."
In his verbal submission to the COFEX and COMEX panels, Chief Shecapio also presented the community's concerns that Strateco's baseline data does not fully reflect the abundance of wildlife in the area.
"If Strateco could not even take enough care in the preparation of their Environmental Impact Assessment, how can we trust that they will make the effort when it comes time to implement the measures needed to safeguard the water, plants and animals in and around the Matoush site?" asked Chief Shecapio.
Deputy Chief John S. Matoush adds, "For the Matoush proposal, it was important that our people make a decision as a community and that's the process the leadership took on this issue."
For more information:
Cree Nation of Mistissini
Local Environment Office
Tel: 418-923-3461 extension 213