The Anishinabek Nation says it will oppose any deep geological nuclear waste repositories in its territory, which stretches across the shores of the Great Lakes in Ontario.
The declaration comes a week after a federal environmental assessment concluded that burying hazardous material near the shore of Lake Huron in a deep underground bunker is the best way to deal with the waste.
A proposal by Ontario Power Generation calls for hundreds of thousands of cubic metres of so-called low and intermediate level nuclear waste to be buried 680 metres underground the bedrock at the Bruce nuclear plant near Kincardine, Ont.
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"The uncertainties and risk are too great for the Anishinabek Nation and Ontario citizens to consider," Grand Council Chief Madahbee said in a news release on Wednesday.
The environment minister is expected to decide on the OPG proposal by September.
Meanwhile, several northern Ontario municipalities are vying to host hazardous spent nuclear fuel that powers nuclear reactors through a lengthy Nuclear Waste Management Organization process.
But, according to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples any burial of hazardous materials requires the free, informed, prior consent of nearby First Nations, Mahdabee said.
"The Anishinabek Nation passed a resolution and we have informed governments before that 'the Anishinabek Nation will stand united and oppose any deep geological nuclear waste repositories within the Anishinabek Nation territory'," he said.
The Anishinabek Nation includes 39 member communities across Ontario, representing approximately 55,000 people.