Québec is not "Maître chez nous" - ITUM's reaction to the Court's rejection of a safeguard order seeking to halt Hydro-Québec's work on the northern line of the La Romaine hydroelectric project

UASHAT MAK MANI-UTENAM, QC, May 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - The Innu Takuaikan Uashat mak Mani-utenam band council (ITUM) was disappointed by the Superior Court of Québec's May 27 judgment which rejected its motion for a safeguard order seeking to halt the invasion of their traditional territory (their Nitassinan). The motion sought to provisionally stop the deforestation Hydro-Québec is undertaking in preparation of the northern segment of the transmission lines for the La Romaine hydroelectric project.

Following such judgment, we will consider possible options in the fight to ensure that the fundamental rights of the Innus of Uashat mak Mani-utenam are respected, including appealing the judgment.

"Far from being a crushing blow, this judgment simply reinforces our determination to do everything in our power to finally obtain the justice we've sought in regard to this major project," exclaimed the Chief Mike McKenzie.

In any event, no Court judgment, no decision by a government and no natural resource project will alter the reality that the Innus of Uashat mak Mani-utenam are not going anywhere - they have lived on, occupied, made use of and possessed their Nitassinan long before the arrival of Europeans.

"Is this what we can expect from the new Plan nord dubbed 'Nord pour tous'? Destructive projects which violate First Nations' rights? Before taking any action, ITUM will organize a community meeting to determine our strategy for affirming our rights as a people going forward in the current context. But one thing's for sure, the Innus of Uashat mak Mani-utenam will not sit passively by and suffer the numerous invasions of their territory, our Nitassinan. Solutions will need to be found to ensure that our rights are respected, that we play our rightful role in the management of both development and the protection of our traditional territory and that we as a people gains access to the necessary tools to achieve our progress goals," concluded Chief McKenzie.

SOURCE Innu Takuaikan Uashat mak Mani-Utenam




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