|Sioux Lookout – On the seventh day since leaving Ignace on September 1st, a Walk to raise awareness about investigations underway that could lead to all of Canada’s nuclear waste being buried in the heart of Treaty 3 territory has reached Sioux Lookout.
The Walk left the Nuclear Waste Management Organization’s offices in Ignace on September 1st. A group of walkers and supporters has joined each day, with numbers varying up to as high as twenty-five. A large group is expected to join the walk through Sioux Lookout, bolstered by Treaty 3 members and members of the Dryden based group Sunset Country Spirit Alliance and Sioux Lookout based group NO CANDU. Both groups are part of the northern Ontario wide alliance We the Nuclear Free North.
Led by Darlene Necan, an elder and Headman with the Ojibway Nation of Saugeen No. 258, this is the third annual walk, each committed to raising awareness about the threat nuclear waste coming to Treaty 3 lands would pose for the water and for future generations.
“We are grateful to the walkers and all they are doing to bring attention to this issue”, commented Remi Lorteau, a spokesperson for NO CANDU (Northern Ontario Citizens Against Nuclear Dumping Underground – the name is a play on the acronym for the Canadian built CANDU reactors).
“Here in Sioux Lookout we’ve been concerned about this issue for decades, first when Atomic Energy of Canada Limited was promoting this idea in the 1980s, and more recently since the NWMO first showed up in Northwestern Ontario in 2010. It’s time this notion of burying nuclear waste in northern Ontario was put to rest for good.”
Walkers are gathering at the Forest Inn at 10 am before heading around the bypass and then into Sioux Lookout, passing the high school before travelling through the downtown and making their way to the waterfront.
On Day 1 the walk passed the entrance to the candidate nuclear waste burial site, which is approximately half way between Ignace and Dryden. The site is just south of Highway 17 where it runs parallel to the Revell River, a few kilometres west of the Revell River picnic area. The candidate site is at the headwaters of the Wabigoon and the Turtle River watersheds, which flow west into Wabigoon Lake and the Lake of the Woods.
In Dryden, the Walk visited the store front of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization’s “satellite” office. Initially set up as a shared space with the Township of Ignace in October 2021, the NWMO uses the office space in Dryden intermittently.
“We are grateful to all those who join and support us”, commented Head walker Darlene Necan.
“The Walk is difficult to do but doing nothing to stop nuclear waste from coming to our land and affecting our water would be more difficult. This is the time we must all stand up, we must all speak out, we must do what is right for future generations.”
Those who want to support the walk or join the walkers for some portion of the journey are encouraged to follow “No Nuclear Waste on Treaty Lands” on Facebook for Walk updates.
Source: We are the Nuclear Free North