December 09, 2011 09:58 ET

Innus Challenging the Constitutionality of Quebec Claims

MOISIE, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Dec. 9, 2011) - InnuPower, a group of young Innu citizens from the North Shore, is working towards the self-determination and protection of Nitassinan for future generations.

The Plan Nord and especially the mining boom are forcing us to take concrete action in order to protect Quebec's territory, as several regions are already in the sights of large international mining companies:

1- We consider that the importance of the Otish Mountains for the INNU (Pessamit and Mashteuiatsh) and CREE nations has been demonstrated through our respective land claims, which leads us to think that Route 167 and mining claims in that region will infringe on land of vital cultural importance for the traditional activities and heritage of both nations.

2- We consider that detailed studies of archaeological sites on mining claims must be carried out and inventoried.

3- We consider that the clearly defined and documented impacts of Route 167 and of uranium mines with their radioactive waste must first be presented to the nations of Quebec.

4- We believe that measures aimed at protecting 50% of the territory of the Plan Nord cannot be representative of the vision of the land's inhabitants, since consultations were very limited and constraining. This process cannot be considered a consultation in due form, neither for us nor for Quebeckers.

5- We believe that for the Otish Mountains, as well as the rest of the North, mining claims are preventing the protection of land of environmental and cultural importance, and therefore, are preventing any development planning and land-use planning.

6- We believe that "free mining", "click and claim" and the claim system of Quebec's Mining Act are fundamentally inconsistent with constitutional Aboriginal protection measures. Therefore, all claims over our Nitassinan are proprietary interests that compete with our Aboriginal titles.

7- We believe that the "free mining" regime implemented at the time of colonization was intended to take control of the land of Aboriginals and inhabitants. We believe that Aboriginal titles over the territory must be respected, just like the health of ecosystems must be preserved.

8- We believe that the future of the North Shore and Quebec requires taking back control of natural resources, since technological developments will allow mega extraction operations for a maximum of 50 years. Our future generations must be taken into consideration in the title of ownership.

For all these reasons, we are considering taking legal action against certain claims, the "click and claim" system and the fundamental principles of Quebec's claim system which allow the "free mining" spirit of the Mining Act.

A solution can be reached only by respecting all of Quebec's nations through sustainable development that protects the integrity of the values of all those who live there.

Contact Information

  • Arthur Picard
    418 297-9090
    Facebook: InnuPower