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February 12, 2024
The decision to choose the banks of the Kichi Sibi to site a massive stockpile of radioactive materials is yet another low point in the history of how Canada has treated Indigenous communities. If the government is serious about reconciliation, it must stop the project and make room for a just process.
Last month, Canada’s nuclear regulator approved the construction of a radioactive landfill right next to the Kitchi Sibi (Ottawa) River. Despite verbal assurances on the part of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) about its commitment to reconciliation and its desire to partner with Indigenous communities, it simply did not take into account opposition to the project by 10 out of 11 Algonquin communities upon whose unceded territory the site is located. Granting the approval, therefore, continues Canada’s long history of locating risky projects on Indigenous territory.