Tribe Opposes Radioactive Shipment through St. Lawrence Seaway

Feb 17, 2011

No Consultation with Tribe

The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council stated today that they are in opposition to the shipment of radioactive contaminated steam generators through the Akwesasne territory. This position is in line with the position of other tribes, including the Kahnawake and Tyendinaga Mohawk governments and the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) announced on February 4, 2011 that it had approved the transportation of sixteen steam generators containing used nuclear fuel sometime during the 2011 shipping season. The Bruce Power Company removed the generators from its nuclear plant on Bruce Peninsula.

“As a practical matter, and to my knowledge, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe was never consulted or notified of any aspect of this planned shipment,” asserted Tribal Chief Mark Garrow. “This is a matter of protocol and policy. The Tribe became aware of this scheme only after the media picked up the story and other Native Governments objected.”

Other local governments and groups have stated their opposition to the shipment. The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, a bi-national coalition of over 70 mayors also opposes the proposed shipment. “We understand everybody’s concern. This plan is not in line with the United States and Canadian governments’ consultation policies with Native Governments,” declared Tribal Chief Monica Jacobs. “Obviously both the United States and Canadian governments had knowledge of and discussion about this way before the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission issued a transport license.”

Upwards of 50 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and groups from a dozen nations and over 150 individuals have signed a resolution. The resolution opposes Bruce Power's plan to transport radioactively contaminated equipment through the Great Lakes, along the St. Lawrence River, across the Atlantic Ocean and into the Baltic Sea to Sweden for recycling.

“The United States government failed to meet its obligation to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe,” remarked Tribal Chief Randy Hart. “They are not respecting our long-held recognition as a sovereign nation.” Failure to conduct government-to-government consultation on such matters violates the Executive Order requiring consultation. As a recognized sovereign, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe will continue to promote governing policies which call for respectful dialogue and the recognition of the sovereign status of both the United States and Canada. Like other sovereign governments around the world, the Tribe should be afforded the same consideration.

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For more information: David T. Staddon, Director Public Information, Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, 518-358-2272 ext. 286.