On October 5, 2022 at Lac Seul First Nation, Treaty #3 Chiefs in Assembly passed a resolution by consensus to renew the ongoing relationship with the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO). The relationship agreement between Grand Council Treaty #3 (GCT3) does not consent or imply any consent to NWMO’s Adaptive Phased Management (APM) project or its site selection process. The Chiefs in Assembly continue to support the Elders Declaration of 2011, opposing the storage of nuclear waste in Treaty #3 and the assertion that any resource development in Treaty #3 is to be authorized through the Anishinaabe Nation in Treaty #3 protocols and Manito Aki Inakonigaawin.
In 2011, through resolution CA-11-14, the Anishinaabe Nation in Treaty #3 mandated Ogichidaakwe Diane Kelly to enter into a relationship agreement with NWMO. In order to learn more and exercise Anishinaabe jurisdiction through Manito Aki Inakonigaawin. This resolution continued to support the Elders Declaration opposing the storage of nuclear waste in the Treaty #3 Territory. In 2017, the Anishinaabe Nation in Treaty #3 mandated (CA-17-05) the renewal of this agreement and in 2020 mandated (CA-20-38) the renewal of the agreement signed October 6, 2022.
Each of these agreements over the past 12 years of the relationship between NWMO and GCT3, has provided capacity support for initiatives in relation to learning about the APM project, environmental monitoring, youth engagement and to support the strategic direction of the Anishinaabe Nation in Treaty #3 in upholding the jurisdiction of the Nation through Manito Aki Inakonigaawin.
The agreement, in the sum of 5.8 million dollars, was officially signed October 6, 2022, and is a two year term between GCT3 and NWMO to provide capacity for:
- Language initiatives
- Outreach and education relating to Nuclear 101 Guidebook,
- The Treaty #3 Stewardship Officer program,
- Youth scholarships and internships,
- Intergenerational knowledge transfer,
- Gathering all voices of the nation,
- Ceremonial and spiritual protocols,
- Legal and sector expertise, and
- The development of a Treaty #3 project assessment process as a tool to implement Manito Aki Inakonigaawin and the exercise of Anishinaabe jurisdiction.
Both parties acknowledge the renewed agreement does not consent or imply consent to the NWMO site selection process or the APM project.
Through respect of Anishinaabe Nation in Treaty #3 and individual community processes guiding these agreements the position of the Nation is, and will continue to be, informed and rooted in the traditional governance structure, laws and protocols of the Nation, ensuring all citizens are represented. The Anishinaabe Nation in Treaty #3 through the Chiefs in Assembly will always defend the inherent and Treaty rights of the Nation. The best interests of the citizens of the Anishinaabe Nation in Treaty #3 will always be of the utmost priority and decisions made by the Nation will continue to be guided by Manito Aki Inakonigaawin, the informed decisions of the people and the sacred relationship held with the lands and waters in Treaty #3.
“This relationship agreement, which is similar to those that many communities also hold, will provide Grand Council Treaty #3 with the capacity to remain engaged and informed to defend and enhance the inherent and Treaty rights of the Anishinaabe Nation in Treaty #3 as we have done for over a decade now,” said Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh. “Our staff at Grand Council and our legal advice spent months ensuring this agreement in no way limited our options in regard to our relationship with the Nuclear Waste Management Organization. When the time comes to say ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ and right now all indications are that it will be a firm ‘no,’ the Anishinaabe Nation in Treaty #3 will have taken the time to ensure that it will be an informed decision and therefore a legally enforceable stance.”
“We are pleased to enter this Learn More Agreement with Grand Council Treaty #3. These Agreements have been instrumental to support learning and dialogue as part of the site selection process and underscore the importance of continued and meaningful engagement with the communities involved, said Lise Morton, Vice President of Site Selection at the NWMO. “We look forward to ongoing engagement with Grand Council Treaty #3 community members, Chiefs, Knowledge Keepers, youth, and others. This project continues to be shaped by many views and will only proceed in an area with a suitable rock formation that can meet strict safety requirements, and with informed and willing hosts working together to implement it.”
NWMO & GCT3 Relationship Agreement Quick Facts
The Agreement is:
- A renewed funding agreement that provides funding ($5,895,575.00) for GCT3-led initiatives and for 2 years (ending August 31, 2024)
- A continuation of a relationship established in 2011
- Capacity Funding for:
- Language Revitalization
- Sector Expertise
- Engagement and Education
- Treaty #3 Stewardship Officer Program
- Youth Scholarships and Internships
- Support to gather Elders, members, leadership to discuss Nuclear Waste Project
- Development of an Environmental Assessment process through MAI for ALL projects in Treaty #3
- Capacity for Anishinaabe Nation in Treaty #3 to discuss and plan next steps on the Nuclear Waste Management Organization project
- A reporting outline between both parties
- A communication protocol between both parties
The Agreement is NOT:
- consent or implied consent to NWMO’s project or site selection process
- consultation with Grand Council Treaty #3 or the communities in Treaty #3
- approval of site selection (site selection not expected prior to the end of 2024)
- a change in policy direction or procedure by Grand Council Treaty #3 or Treaty #3 Chiefs in Assembly
- waiving, prejudicing, limiting, amending, abrogating or in any way derogating from the inherent and Treaty #3 rights of the Anishinaabe Nation in Treaty #3 or Treaty #3 Communities
- discouraging, inhibiting, replacing or derogating the negotiation or current and past agreements between the NWMO and First Nations or Municipalities