Churchill Hydro Project Raises Concerns of Mi’kmaq Leaders

The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs (ANSMC) have concerns with respect to a proposed $6.2-billion Lower Churchill Hydroelectric Project in Labrador. The power will be delivered from the hydroelectric dam in Labrador through an undersea cable.

Two regional energy companies from Newfoundland (Nalcor Energy) and Nova Scotia (Emera, are teaming up for this mega-project to build a generating plant and place an undersea cable to carry electricity to Nova Scotia and on to the New England states. The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs are concerned with the potential traditional and environmental impacts this could have when the cable is put down under sea and land. The environmental impacts must be taken into consideration and addressed prior to project approvals.

The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs also believes that if this project goes forward, one or more Mi’kmaq Communities will be affected. If this is the case, the ANSMC have concerns about possible archaeological disturbance through Mi’kmaq territory of lands and waters.

The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs released a statement on the importance of protecting and preserving archaeological resources, “Archaeology is the most abundant source of information about our past and is a key piece of evidence in demonstrating our rights and title to this land. We must be diligent in protecting the archaeological resources as proof not just of rights and title, but of the ancestors and culture that we come from.”

The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs want to make it known to all organizations and/or companies that will be involved in the Lower Churchill Hydroelectric Project that there is a consultation process that must be followed when Mi’kmaq rights may be impacted

The Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia, government of Nova Scotia and the government of Canada committed to a Consultation Terms of Reference (TOR) process document which sets out a Consultation Process between the Mi’kmaq and the Crown. The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs expects that this process is followed and the needs of the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia are adequately met.