Friday, August 14, 2009

Natives blockade northern Manitoba dam project

[I have stolen this story from CBC. I'm posting it in part to continue the Wuskwatim label posted earlier. I encourage those of you in Quebec to sign up for the upcoming marathon being organized by Alliance Romaine http://allianceromaine.org/.]

Members of an Indian band are blocking access to a $1.3-billion hydroelectric development project in northern Manitoba.

Some members of the Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation near Nelson House, Man., have blocked construction access to the Wuskwatim Dam project, a 200-megawatt generating station that is being built by Manitoba Hydro at Taskinigup Falls on the Burntwood River.

A spokesperson for Manitoba Hydro says the group is allowing people to walk through the barricade, but stopping vehicles from passing.

The protesters claim Manitoba Hydro is not living up to an agreement to provide jobs to members of the local band, claiming at least one-third of workers should be from the local area. Manitoba Hydro said there are about 300 aboriginal workers at Wuskwatim, of which about 44 are from Nisichawayasihk.

Hydro said it does not believe the protest is sanctioned by the chief and council of the Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation. The dam is being developed as a joint venture between Manitoba Hydro and the Nisichawayasihk band. The project is the first time the Crown-owned power utility has entered into an equity partnership with a First Nations community on a generating station project.

Construction of the dam and generating station, about 800 kilometres north of Winnipeg, is due to be completed in 2011.

1 comment:

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