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NEWS: Two Quebec First Nations oppose Great Lakes nuclear shipments

Two First Nations with territory within the province of Quebec are opposing the planned Bruce Power shipment of nuclear waste from southern Ontario along the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence seaway. The Kahnawake territory lies entirely within the province of Quebec, while the Akwesasne territory straddles Quebec, Ontario and New York state.

The Cornwall Standard Freeholder reports that the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne opposes “any activity within Akwesasne’s territorial waters that poses a threat to our sensitive environment and rights,” notably the proposed shipments of nuclear waste on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence seaway.

GroundReport adds that, “The Mohawk Councils of Kahnawàke, Tyendinaga and Akwesasne have issued a joint statement rejecting the shipment of nuclear waste through the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway system. …’The (river) provides drinking water to some 40 million people,’ says Kahnawàke Grand Chief Michael Ahrihron Delisle, Jr., in the joint statement issued February 9. ‘But for us, it’s much more than that. If there is an accident, there is no place for us to go.’ …Akwesasne Grand Chief Mike Kanentakeron Mitchell (says) ‘We were never consulted even though the shipment is planned to pass through our territorial waters. As a result, we condemn the Commission for disregarding our concerns and our desire to protect our great waterway for future generations.'”

An October 8, 2010 campaign blog noted:

The Watertown Daily News (has) reported that, “The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne is… trying to halt a shipment of nuclear waste through the St. Lawrence Seaway. ‘It just opens the door; what’s to prevent future shipments of larger amounts of the nuclear waste?’ the council’s acting environmental science director, Elizabeth F. Nanticoke, asked. ‘Nobody ever asked what should happen in our territory; they just go ahead and propose things without asking us. Although they say it’s low levels, you can never say that it’s ever completely safe.’”

And the Montreal Gazette reported that, “The local band council in Kahnawake made good on its word yesterday and banned the transport of nuclear-waste materials through the (narrow) St. Lawrence Seaway section that runs through the Mohawk community. The resolution, although not binding, signals the band council’s opposition to (the proposed shipments).”

That’s at