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Saukiing Anishnaabekiing, ON - 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 (Saukiing Anishnaabekiing) 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.

Over the last number of years, SON Joint Council has been in discussion with the nuclear industry and governments regarding these concerns.

Ontario Power Generation has proposed a deep geologic repository (DGR) as a permanent storage solution for low- and intermediate-level waste in SON Territory at the Bruce Power site. Currently, the waste is stored above ground.

In 2013, Ontario Power Generation committed to SON that it would not build the 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 the 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; tells us that we must work diligently to find a new solution for the waste.”

“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 of the 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 is comprised of two First Nations communities, the Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation and the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation.

 Source: media release, SON

Image: Chuck Szmurlo [CC BY-SA (]


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