MISTISSINI – ANISHINABEK – The Cree Nation Youth Council today launches the Stand Against Uranium solidarity march, to send a strong message to the Quebec government, that the Cree Nation opposes uranium development on their land, Eeyou Istchee. The march will also provide an opportunity for Quebeckers from across the province to show their support for the Crees’ stand.
The march departs from Mistissini on Sunday, November 23, after a send-off feast the night before. The Cree walkers plan to travel over 800 kilometres to Montreal, via Chibougamau, St. Felicien, the Laurentides Park and Quebec City. The march will arrive in Montreal on Monday, December 15, for the last day of the public hearings of the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement’s (BAPE) on the uranium industry in Quebec.
“With this march, we the Cree youth are walking in the footsteps of our ancestors, to hand deliver the message of the Cree Nation as a whole,” Youth Chairman Joshua Iserhoff explained. “Our message is clear: we have said NO to uranium mining and exploration in Eeyou Istchee.”
The BAPE began its inquiry into the uranium industry in Quebec in May 2014, and is set to deliver its recommendations to the Minister of the Environment by May 2015. “As youth, we want to make sure that our position is heard,” said Amy Linton, Chief of the Mistissini Youth Council. “We do not accept the risks and burdens that uranium development will impose on us, on our land and on our future generations.”
The walk departs from Mistissini, where the Cree Nation’s fight against uranium development began when Strateco Resources sought to pursue the Matoush advanced exploration project, the most advanced uranium project to date in Quebec, located on Mistissini family hunting grounds. “Mistissini is the point of origin for the environmental, health and social risks that uranium presents,” noted Mistissini Chief Richard Shecapio. “We have a vision for the responsible development of our territory, that protects our lands and our way of life for future generations. Uranium mining has no place in that vision.”