The Grand Council of the Crees

Cree Nation Welcomes Quebec Government's Refusal of Matoush Uranium Project

Posted: 2013-11-11

NEMASKA, EEYOU ISTCHEE (QUEBEC), November 11, 2013: The James Bay Cree Nation welcomes the decision of Quebec Minister of the Environment Yves-Fran├žois Blanchet to refuse to issue a certificate of authorization for Strateco Resources Inc.’s Matoush advanced uranium exploration project. Strateco announced this morning that it had been notified of the Minister’s decision on Friday November 8.

Minister Blanchet’s decision follows the notice issued by the Minister on June 21, 2013, in which he advised that he intended to refuse the permit for the Matoush project, as there was not sufficient social acceptability for the project, particularly amongst the Crees.

“This is good news for the Cree people”, said Grand Chief Dr. Matthew Coon Come. “We are pleased that the Quebec government has once again recognized that the social acceptability of proposed development projects in Eeyou Istchee is an essential part of the strong and successful nation-to-nation relationship between the Cree Nation and Quebec.”

Located near the Cree community of Mistissini, the Matoush project is the most advanced uranium project to date in the Cree territory of Eeyou Istchee and in Quebec. The project has attracted significant public opposition. In August 2012, the Cree Nation declared a permanent moratorium on all uranium activities in its traditional territory of Eeyou Istchee. In March 2013, the Government of Quebec declared a temporary moratorium on uranium mining throughout Quebec while it holds province-wide public hearings regarding the uranium sector in Quebec. More than 300 municipalities in Quebec have passed resolutions calling for a permanent moratorium on uranium exploration and mining in Quebec.

“We have been clear that uranium mining and uranium waste are not welcome in Eeyou Istchee,” Grand Chief Coon Come noted. “The Cree Nation and I remain committed to protecting our environment, economy and way of life from the unacceptable risks that uranium mining presents, now and for hundreds of future generations.”

The Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) is the political entity that represents the James Bay Cree people. The Cree Nation of Mistissini is one of the larger communities within the James Bay Cree Nation, and is located at the southeast end of Mistassini Lake.