Displaced Residents of South Indian Lake

September 29, 2005 16:21 ET

Fast-Tracking New Indian Band Solution to Hydro Woes???

Attention: Assignment Editor, Environment Editor, Energy Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor SOUTH INDIAN LAKE, MANITOBA--(CCNMatthews - Sept. 29, 2005) - Fast-Tracking New Indian Band Solution to Hydro Woes ???

Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (NCN) members from Nelson House and South Indian Lake, Manitoba are alarmed by the fast-tracked creation of a new Indian Band at South Indian Lake, Manitoba. A notice from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), in the September 28, 2005 Winnipeg Free Press, gives members until October 3, 2005 "to make their views known" on the agreement signed on July 11, 2005. The agreement has not been made available in the community. No indication of how public comments will be made public is provided.

"The Governments of Manitoba and Canada and certain NCN leaders are continuing to fast-track separate band recognition for NCN members at South Indian Lake to prevent us from voting on the Wuskwatim hydro-project referendum" stated Angus Dysart, NCN member and President of the Displaced Residents of South Indian Lake. "They wish to ensure a positive outcome for the controversial Wuskwatim referendum" added Dysart. Over 80% of NCN members at South Indian Lake opposed the hydro project in a 2001 vote. NCN members who join the new OPCN band lose their right to vote in the Wuskwatim Referendum.

The Manitoba Government refuses to have Elections Manitoba supervise the Wuskwatim referendum vote, despite petitions signed by hundreds of NCN band members tabled in the Manitoba Legislature.

Carol Kobliski, NCN band member and spokesperson for Nelson House Justice Seekers decries the lack of meaningful consultation. "NCN band members have not been informed or properly consulted on the impacts of splitting our First Nation" states Kobliski.

No formal vote on the separation of NCN members from South Indian Lake to create the new O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation (OPCN) will be held. "Providing only six calender days for comment on a agreement that will have significant impacts on our community speaks volumes about the lack of honesty and integrity of the process and those involved" added Kobliski..

"This is another blatant example of Manitoba and Manitoba Hydro trying to avoid responsibility for what they have done to our people and out lands" stated Dysart.

Contacts:

Angus Dysart, Displaced Residents of South Indian Lake, Phone : 1-204-778-7447

Carol Kobliski, Nelson House Justice Seekers Phone: 1-204-484-2887 or 1-204-484-2246

/For further information: Carol Kobliski 1-204-484-2594 or 1-204-484-2246
Angus Dysart 1-204-778-7447/ IN: ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, FINANCE, FORESTRY

Contact Information

  • Norm McIvor
    Primary Phone: 204-342-2580