Iroquois Caucus, Anishinabek Nation issue Declaration, send letter to Trudeau regarding Radioactive Liquid Shipments from Chalk River
For immediate release
(Kahnawake – April 21, 2017) The Iroquois Caucus and the Anishinabek Nation wish to announce that they have issued a Joint Declaration regarding their serious concerns regarding the transportation of highly-radioactive liquid waste on their respective territories (see attached).
Additionally, a joint letter to Prime Minister (see attached) was sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau yesterday advising Canada of our concerns in these matters. The letter was signed by Kahnawà:ke Grand Chief Joseph Tokwiro Norton on behalf of the Iroquois Caucus and by Grand Council Chief Patrick Wedaseh Madahbee on behalf of the Anishinabek Nation.
A proposal to transport over 100 truckloads of highly-radioactive liquid material from Chalk River, Ontario to the Savannah River Site in South Carolina is being condemned as extremely dangerous and ill-advised.
“We understand that a small amount of this radioactive liquid, just a fraction of a liter, can contaminate hundreds of millions of liters of water to levels far exceeding the current drinking water limits,” the letter states. “We have unified and strongly opposed this proposal as these shipments would, of necessity, enter the U.S. along roads and bridges on or adjacent to some of our traditional territories.”
“We draw on our sacred law, traditional law, customary laws – we need to protect the lands, waters and all living things for future generations,” the Joint Declaration states. ”We remain collective and unified in our decisions and that radioactive waste will not be transported, exported or imported throughout our territories by road, rail, water or other means on transportation.”
The Anishinabek Nation and Iroquois Caucus wish to remind the government and various authorities that there is an alternative to eliminate the weapons-grade uranium on the Chalk River site, called down-blending, which is a much safer alternative.
The shipments from Chalk River are scheduled to begin in the spring. A prompt reply is expected.
Radioactive Waste Joint Declaration of the Iroquois Caucus and Anishinabek Nation
The Anishinabek Nation and Iroquois Caucus have renewed their relationship and commitment of unity by smoking the sacred pipe. The two nations met to discuss radioactive waste matters that are within their traditional and treaty territories. Central to the discussions were ceremony, and spirituality as reflected in the inherent responsibilities and intimate relationship to the land, waters, and all our relations.
The 5 starting point that was all agreed on includes:
- No abandonment
- Better containment, more packaging
- Monitored and retrievable storage
- Away from Major Water Bodies
- No imports or exports
The Anishinabek Nation and Iroquois Caucus declare that:
We have our own territories and exercise our jurisdiction on a Nation-to-Nation basis.
We draw on sacred law, traditional law, customary laws – we need to protect the lands, waters and all living things for future generations.
We will not let the Government of Canada or the Provinces of Ontario and Quebec abandon radioactive waste in our territories
We must consider future generations, as they are the ones that will be affected by our decisions.
We remain collective and unified in our decisions that radioactive waste is kept away from all water bodies, as the risks are uncertain and too great.
We remain unified in our decisions that radioactive waste will not be transported, exported or imported throughout our territories by road, rail, water or other means of transportation.
We maintain our rights to our lands, waters, and to all our resources and that radioactive waste be better contained, and be in retrievable and monitored storage.