Nukewatch Quarterly Summer 2020
Saukiing Anishnaabekiing, Ontario—Collectively, the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation and the Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation are referred to as the Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON). Our Territory encompasses much of the Saugeen Peninsula, extending down south of Goderich and east of Collingwood. Between the two communities, we have over 4,500 members.
We were not consulted when the nuclear industry was established in our territory. Over the past forty years, nuclear power generation in Anishnaabekiing has had many impacts on our communities, and our land and waters, including the production and accumulation of nuclear waste.
In 2013, Ontario Power Generation committed to SON that it would not build the Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) without our support.
This vote marks a historic exercising of our Aboriginal and Treaty Rights and free, prior and informed consent in our Territory. The Communities have voted against the DGR. The vote results are as follows:
170 yes, 1,058 no, 4 spoiled ballots, 1,232 total votes.
“This vote was a historic milestone and momentous victory for our People. We worked for many years for our right to exercise jurisdiction in our territory and the free, prior and informed consent of our People to be recognized,” said Chief Lester Anoquot of Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation. “As Anishinaabe, we didn’t ask for this waste to be created and stored in our territory, but it is here. We have a responsibility to our Mother Earth to protect both her and our lands and waters. Today, our People have voted against the DGR; this tells us that we must work diligently to find a new solution for the waste,” he said.
“We will continue to work with OPG and others in the nuclear industry on developing new solutions for nuclear waste in our Territory. We know that the waste currently held in above-ground storage at the Bruce site will not go away. SON is committed to developing these solutions with our Communities and ensuring Mother Earth is protected for future generations. We will continue to ensure that our People will lead these processes and decisions,” said Chief Greg Nadjiwon—Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation.
SON will now begin working closely with OPG and others in the nuclear industry to find an acceptable solution for the waste. This process may take many years.
—Saugeen Ojibway Nation Chiefs and Councils, Press Release, Jan. 31, 2020