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Resolution No. 2007-09-33

Nuclear Waste Disposal in Mushkegowuk Territory

WHEREAS Canada and Ontario have been using nuclear reactors to generate electricity for several decades; and

WHEREAS nuclear reactors produce highly radioactive and dangerous waste in the form of used fuel; and

WHEREAS many Mushkegowuk First Nations live in the James Bay Lowlands and have not been connected to the provincial electricity grid and have for most of that time not received or benefited from the electricity that produced that waste; and

WHEREAS the Mushkegowuk people have lived on, depended on, and respected this our land since time immemorial and our children will do so forever; and

WHEREAS the government of Canada established a study panel to examine the possibility of disposing of this dangerous nuclear waste by placing it in a deep hole drilled in solid rock; and

WHEREAS the legislation establishing the panel required the panel to consult with aboriginal peoples; and

WHEREAS the study panel conducted its review for several years on the assumption that the James Bay Lowlands, which is the Mushkegowuk Territory, was not geologically suitable for deep geological disposal, but at

Resolution No. 2007-09-33, Page 2

the end of its review, and without any consultation with Mushkegowuk people before or after, the panel changed its views and included Mushkegowuk Territory as a potential disposal area; and

WHEREAS Aboriginal communities, such as Mushkegowuk communities, which are remote from urban centres are historically and politically vulnerable to being exploited in matters such as waste disposal; and

WHEREAS the study panel based most or all of its study on the assumption that it was only considering waste from current reactors, but government and industry leaders now appear to suggest that the study justifies the building of new reactors, which would increase the amount and change the nature of waste; and

WHEREAS new scientific evidence suggests that the risk of serious earthquakes which may disrupt such a disposal site and disrupt their safety may be much greater than the study panel thought;

AND WHEREAS Mushkegowuk Council initiated court challenges to the decisions of the federal Minister and Cabinet made on or about June 14, 2007 to accept the panel study and proceed with deep geological disposal, subject to further ongoing review by the Council;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Mushkegowuk Council reaffirm

the Mushkegowuk peoples' commitment to the life and health of the land we have inhabited since time immemorial and which we will inhabit forever; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Mushkegowuk Council in Assembly express its serious concern that the Mushkegowuk people have not been consulted about the possibility of dangerous nuclear fuel waste disposed of in our territory in so-called deep geological depositories; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Mushkegowuk Council legal counsel be authorized and directed to continue the present court applications; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Mushkegowuk Council be added as an applicant in the court applications alongside the name of the Grand Chief;

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Mushkegowuk Council of Chiefs further review these court applications in the near future to monitor their status.

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