NEMASKA, EEYOU ISTCHEE: The Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee), the Cree Regional Authority and the Cree Nation of Mistissini today filed an intervention in the legal proceedings recently commenced by Strateco Resources against the Quebec Minister of the Environment.
Strateco’s legal action seeks to force the Minister to issue a decision concerning the authorization of the Matoush advanced uranium exploration project. Strateco has also asked the Court to declare void one of the conditions recommended by COMEX, the environmental review panel established by the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA), that Strateco demonstrate the social acceptability of its project by concluding a written agreement with the Cree Nation of Mistissini.
In their intervention, the Crees seek full rights of participation in the proceedings, and urge the Court to dismiss Strateco’s request in its entirety.
“The importance of social acceptability of proposed development projects in Eeyou Istchee is an essential aspect of the nation-to-nation relationship between the Cree Nation and Quebec,” said Grand Chief Dr. Matthew Coon Come. “Strateco’s legal action represents a fundamental challenge to this principle, and to our treaty rights, particularly the JBNQA. We are committed to protecting our environment and our treaty rights, for current and future generations.”
“The position of the Cree Nation of Mistissini, and the Cree Nation as a whole, is clear: we are opposed to uranium mining in all its forms in the Eeyou Istchee James Bay territory,” Mistissini Chief Richard Shecapio stated. “We are not prepared to assume the grave risks that uranium mining presents, for thousands of future generations.”
The first court appearance in the proceedings is scheduled for Friday February 8, 2013 in Quebec City.