I can hardly keep my butt on my chair long enough to write. This is so exciting!
People from northern Saskatchewan have done an incredible job of organizing an 800 km, 22-day walk to the Saskatchewan legislature. What a blast it has become!
I read Jim Harding’s article about the 7000 Generation Walk (Aug 4th – scroll down, it follows “ITINERARY”). It’s one of his best. It’s exciting BUT THEN, I realized that it got published in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix!!! This doesn’t happen in Cameco City. WOW! what a break-through.
There are people coming from Lloydminster (a 3-hour drive from the northwest), Archerwill (a 3-hour drive from the east), etc. to join in the Saskatoon events on Sunday evening and Monday. Some will overnite at my place. The air is full of song and dance and celebration and excitement! Sock it to ‘em, baby!
THE BIG DAY: TUESDAY, August 16 – March the Green Mile to Saskatchewan Legislature, arrive @ noon
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FOR MORE INFORMATION, different websites: http://forum.stopthehogs.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1082
http://www.cleangreensask.ca/ PETITION: The Committee for Future Generations
Scroll down to Northern Saskatchewan Says No To Nuclear Waste and Click on Links in article…..
The Committee for Future Generations has launched a petition calling on the Saskatchewan Government to permanently ban nuclear waste storage & transportation into, out of & through Saskatchewan.
Read the Open Letter to the People of Saskatchewan & share widely.
The Committee is planning an 820 km walk from Pinehouse to Regina this summer to raise awareness of this issue. They will be collecting petitions calling for a legislated ban on nuclear waste. Stay tuned or contact the group for more details.
The Committee is encouraging the formation of chapters in other communities to demonstrate solidarity to Say No to Nuclear Waste.
Post on the Facebook page or send an email to
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ITINERARY: 7000 Generations Walk Against Nuclear Waste
Pinehouse to Regina
WALKERS: BE PROUD OF YOUR CROWD! FLY A BANNER WITH YOUR COMMUNITY NAME!
Date Communities Distance km Sections*/km Total Km Total Days
July 27 – Pinehouse to Beauval – 107 4 – 27 107 1
July 28 – Beauval to Green Lake – 103 4 – 26 210 2
Joined@ Beauval Forks by NorthWest communities
Joined @ Green Lake by Meadow Lake
July 29 – Green Lake to Cowan – 29 — 239 3
July 30 – Cowan to Big River – 48 2 – 24 277 4
July 31 – Big River to Debden – 38.3 2 – 19 315 5
August 1 – Debden to Shellbrook – 49.6 2 – 25 365 6
August 2 – Shellbrook to PA – 45.1 2 – 22.5 387.5 7
August 3 – Noon gathering @ Prince Albert City Hall Memorial Square – Musician LEONARD ADAM 8
Prince Albert to Saskatoon – 174.4 km
August 4 – PA to Duck Lake – 57.6 3 – 19.2 445.1 9
August 5 – Duck Lake to Batoche – 23 — 468 10
August 6 – Batoche to Osler – 62 3 – 21 530 11
7000 generations walk stop in Osler
The 7000 generations walk will pass through the town of Osler on Aug:06 on its way from Pinehouse and Beauval to Regina. Osler Mennonite Church is offering camping space, billets and supper to the walkers August 6th. There is a public event at the church, starting at 7.30 p.m. with a welcome from the town’s mayor, Ben Buhler. This will be followed by a shared meal, and some “circle time” in which walkers and others can share and listen to the stories of each others’ communities.
(A number of Osler people experienced and resisted the nuclear industry’s attempt to move into their community in the late 1970s with the proposal for a uranium refinery just down the road by Warman. Others who were involved in the campaign against the refinery would be particularly welcome.)
Walk leader Max Morin wrote to Osler Mennonite Church: “We are humbled for your kind and generous offer. We will be leaving Prince Albert on August 4 and camping in Duck Lake. We walk from Duck to Batoche on August 5, Batoche to Osler on August 6, and Osler to Saskatoon on August 7th. We are gathering water from every community, river, and stream that we walk past, and we would be more than happy to collect your water from Osler. This symbolizes that we are all connected by water. We would then pour this water into a jar of all the water collected along the way and Osler. We list every place that water is taken from.” Ben Buhler will present some of Osler’s water to the walkers.
Everyone welcome. Some food will be provided, but feel free to bring more and share it.
August 7 – Osler to Saskatoon – 25.2 — 555.2 12
Joined by Lloydminster/North Battleford
August 7 (Sunday) – Evening of Entertainment in Saskatoon, Ave H & 20th Street 13
August 8 (Monday)- Noon Gathering @ Saskatoon City Hall Grounds
Musician CHESTER KNIGHT
Saskatoon to Regina – 260 km
August 9 – Saskatoon to Dundurn – 41.9 2 – 21 597 14
August 10 – Dundurn to Kenaston – 40.34 2 -20 637.3 15
August 11 – Kenaston to Davidson – 34.1 — 671.4 16
August 12 – Davidson to Craik – 30 — 701.4 17
August 13 – Craik to Chamberlain – 30 — 731 18
August 14 – Chamberlain to Lumsden – 58 2 – 29 788.4 19
August 15 – Lumsden to Regina – 34.6 – 823 20
August 16 – March the Green Mile to Saskatchewan Legislature, arrive @ noon 21
– Musician Andrea Menard tentative.
August 17 – Depart for home 22
*Sections are walked concurrently
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Stand up for entire province
BY JIM HARDING, THE STAR PHOENIX AUGUST 4, 2011
Thirty northerners left Pinehouse on July 27 on the 7000 Generations Walk Against Nuclear Waste.
Participants in the 22day, 800-kilometre walk through 12 communities, with rallies in Prince Albert, Saskatoon and Regina, will present petitions to the government.
Indigenous, environmental and ecumenical networks are supporting this unprecedented action, with northerners calling for southern support to win a ban on nuclear waste storage. The controversy should become a fall election issue. The NDP, which has a policy against a nuclear dump in the province, has indicated it will support the walk.
The Nuclear Waste Management Organization has changed its tack in light of the growing opposition to a nuclear dump in the north. Its communications director, Jamie Robinson, contacted the Committee for Future Generations, the Coalition for a Clean Green Saskatchewan, and the Saskatchewan Environmental Society (SES) to invite members to an all-expenses-paid tour “to a waste management facility at a nuclear generating station in South Ontario.”
NWMO said it wanted to “hear their concerns and questions.”
The timing is interesting, for NWMO declined to send anyone to the June 2 forum at Beauval. This was the largest, broadest based northern discussion of nuclear wastes to date, and would have been an opportune time to hear “concerns and questions.” Forum organizers wanted the industry view presented and, when no one turned up, they played two NWMO videos at the start of the meeting.
The northern committee has called for more transparency on NWMO’s spending. A July 27 Star-Phoenix story reported that: “Resources of up to $75,000 per community were made available for expenses incurred at this stage of the selection process.” The story doesn’t mention the $1 million NWMO gave to the FSIN or the $400,000 for the Métis Nation.
The committee has also asked what payments go to the hand-picked elders “advising” NWMO. Agency spokesman Michael Krizanc admitted they receive “a per diem that would be several hundred dollars a day.” That means when an NWMO-appointed elder such as Jim Sinclair attends any community forum to try to convince people to consider a nuclear dump, he is paid for it. Such monetary inducements undermine informed consent and the duty to consult.
Pinehouse official Glen McCallum suggests that the community is “just interested in gathering information,” yet village officials haven’t contacted people outside the industry. It took the Committee for Future Generations to have an open public forum in the community. It’s hard to accept that “there is no coercion” occurring; a private Pinehouse NWMO meeting talked of the need to “sugar-coat” nuclear wastes.
Krizanc says NWMO wants an “informed and willing” community to display its consent in a “compelling” way. He adds, “We haven’t defined what a compelling way is yet.”
What is compelling is the growing opposition to a nuclear dump.
In a StarPhoenix viewpoint on July 28, Pinehouse spokesperson Vince Natomagan attacked the Beauval forum for sending a “fear-based, short-sighted message.” Natomagan tried to make it seem as if the environmental society supported his position, without mentioning that the SES supports a nuclear waste ban in Saskatchewan.
Natomagan supported Sinclair, who was heckled at the Beauval forum, without mentioning that the elder was initially applauded when he began his speech by opposing a nuclear dump. Sinclair flip-flopped and ended up supporting a dump, as if that was the way to help the next generation avoid addiction, suicide and prison.
Such manipulation of the deep concern about the social crisis in the North may be backfiring. A founder of the Committee for Future Generations, retired RCMP officer Max Morin, told The SP that he was invited to be part of an elder’s summit focused on problems of death and addiction among the community’s youth. “Two hours in, the meeting turned out to be a presentation on nuclear waste storage set up by those working with NWMO.”
Northern Saskatchewan remains Canada’s second poorest region despite the uranium mining “boom.”
Bringing 20,000 truckloads of highly radioactive nuclear waste from Ontario won’t change that, but it will jeopardize sustainability.
The northerners walking from Pinehouse to Regina not only are standing up for the future of the north but for the future of Saskatchewan.
Harding is a retired professor of environmental and justice studies. He is active with Kairos and the Coalition for a Clean Green Saskatchewan.
© Copyright (c) The StarPhoenix
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Saskatchewan: 800 kilometre Walk Heats Up Nuclear Waste Controversy
From: Gordon Edwards
Sent: Monday, August 01, 2011 6:38 PM
The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is owned and operated by the three utility companies that run nuclear power reactors in Canada: Ontario Power Generation (OPG) with 22 reactors, Hydro Quebec with 1 reactor, and the New Brunswick Power Corporation with 1 reactor.
These three provincial government-owned corporations are responsible for producing almost all of Canada’s high-level radioactive waste in the form of irradiated nuclear
fuel. (Smaller amounts are produced by research reactors at Chalk River, Ontario, owned by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), and by reactors at various universities — notably McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.)
NWMO is currently courting some of the economically deprived communities in Northern Saskatchewan, hoping to find a town whose leaders will accept with open arms the nuclear garbage from power reactors that light up the cities in Southern Ontario and other less disadvantaged places.
The nuclear industry regards radioactive waste as a serious public relations problem that threatens to impede the expansion of the industry; thus NWMO has a built-in conflict of interest – the desire to make it seem as if the radioactive waste has gone away and will no longer pose a threat to the ecosphere for millions of years to come.
Despite the seductive lure of “economic development” and the unremitting pro-nuclear propaganda that accompanies it, despite the one-sided and partial explanation of long-term nuclear waste management that routinely omits any discussion of plutonium extraction or the health effects of chronic radiation exposure, a courageous group of people from Northern Saskatchewan are walking 800 km to express their opposition to a nuclear waste dump in Saskatchewan.
Citizens of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and other parts of Canada and the world have an opportunity to express their solidarity with these brave marchers.
Jim will relay those messages of support to the leaders of the march, and I will ensure that those same messages reach our political representatives in Ottawa.
Gordon Edwards, President
Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility
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800 KM WALK HEATS UP NUCLEAR WASTE CONTROVERSY
BY Jim Harding
For publication in R-Town News chain – August 5, 2011
Much has happened since the Forum for Truth on Nuclear Waste Storage was held in Beauval June 2nd. Organized in two weeks by the newly-formed Committee for Future Generations, the forum was attended by 200 people, most from ten northern communities. Within a few weeks committee members had organized a second forum, held in Pinehouse July 26th. The next day thirty northerners left Pinehouse to begin a twenty day, 7000 Generations Walk Against Nuclear Waste, which will end up at the Regina Legislature.
The 800 km walk will pass through twelve communities, with rallies in Prince Albert on August 3nd, Saskatoon on August 8th and Regina August 15th. On August 16th the walk will go down The Green Mile along Albert Street to present petitions to the Wall government. Organizers are encouraging supporters to join in the walk wherever they can and for however long they can. Several carloads are expected to join the walkers at Lumsden the morning of August 15th.
This is no small feat and walkers are bound to be tested by this summer’s extreme weather. First Nations, Métis, environmental and ecumenical networks are providing lodging, food and support along the route. This is an unprecedented event, with northerners calling for southern support to win a nuclear waste ban.
The mainstream media is finally reporting the growing opposition to a nuclear dump in the north. Provincial politics is heating up and the nuclear waste controversy may yet become a fall election issue. The NDP, which has a policy against a nuclear dump, has now indicated it will support the walk. We will see whether this resonates with the voting public or is seen as getting on the band wagon late in the game. Organizers want support from any and all groups that are willing to help; it’s a politically non-partisan action.
The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), which has been promoting a nuclear dump In the north, appears to have changed its approach since the success of the Beauval forum. On July 21st, a week prior to the July 26th Pinehouse forum, NWMO’s Communications Director, Jamie Robinson, contacted the Committee for Future Generations, the Coalition for a Clean Green Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Environmental Society (SES). It invited members to come on an all-expense paid tour “to a waste management facility at a nuclear generating station in South Ontario where used nuclear fuel is currently stored on an interim basis.” NWMO said it wanted to “hear their concerns and questions and to provide a briefing about our activities.”
These tours are regularly given to political officials and business groups to try to get them onside. The timing of this invitation to opponents of a nuclear dump is most interesting, for it came after the NWMO declined to send anyone to the Beauval forum. This was the largest, broadest-based discussion of nuclear wastes to occur in the north to date, and would have been an opportune time for them to hear “concerns and questions”. (The forum organizers wanted the industry view presented and when no one turned up they bent over backwards and played two NWMO videos at the beginning of the meeting.)
NWMO’s invitation could have created divisions, but on July 25th the Committee simply responded “we are unable to attend at this time as we are extremely busy with our forum in Pinehouse and our 7000 Generations Walk to the legislature in Regina.” We’ll have to wait and see whether the offer to take people opposed to a nuclear dump here, to Ontario, where the wastes are produced and should be stored, still stands after the summer’s activities.
The Committee for Future Generations has been calling for more transparency from NWMO; they want to know what money is going into the north as part of its promotions. A July 27th Star Phoenix story sheds some light on this, reporting that “Resources of up to $75,000 per community were made available for expenses incurred at this stage of the selection process…” The story fails, however, to mention the $1,000,000 that went to the FSIN or the $400,000 that went to the Métis Nation.
The Committee has also been asking NWMO what payments have been going to the hand-picked elders that are “advising” it. When pushed on this, NWMO’s Toronto-based spokesman, Michael Krizanc, admitted they received “a per diem that would be several hundred dollars a day”. That means that when NWMO-appointed elder, Jim Sinclair, for example, goes to any community forum to try to convince people to consider a nuclear dump, he is getting paid. Such monetary inducements completely go against the meaning of “duty to consult” and “informed consent”.
There’s a lot of twisting of words in this controversy. Pinehouse official Glen McCallum suggests that the community is “just interested in gathering information”, yet village officials haven’t contacted people outside the industry, and it took forming the Committee for Future Generations to get an open public forum in the community. It’s hard to accept that “there is no coercion” going on behind the scene. Industry spokesperson Krizanc says NWMO wants an “informed and willing” community to display its willingness in a “compelling” way, but then adds “we haven’t defined what a compelling way is yet”. What is compelling is the growing opposition to a nuclear dump!
Those working behind the scene may be getting nervous. Pinehouse spokesperson, Vince Natomagan, had an op ed in the July 28th Star Phoenix, just the day after the 7000 Generations Walk left his community. He attacked the June 2nd Beauval forum as sending a “fear-based, short-sighted message”, while failing to say anything about the opposition to a nuclear dump expressed at the July 26th Pinehouse forum . Natomagan tried to make the SES sound like it supported his position, without mentioning that the SES supports a ban on nuclear wastes in Saskatchewan. Natomagan supported Jim Sinclair, who was heckled at the Beauval forum, without mentioning that Sinclair was actually applauded when he started his speech by opposing a nuclear dump. Sinclair then flip-flopped and ended up supporting a dump as if that was the way to help the next generation avoid addiction, suicide and prison. Many present were aghast!
Such manipulation of the deep concern about the social crisis in the north may be backfiring. One of the founders of the Committee for Future Generations, retired RCMP officer, Max Morin, told the Star Phoenix he “was invited to be part of an elder’s summit focused on problems of death and addiction among the community’s youth. Two hours in, the meeting turned out to be a presentation on nuclear waste storage set up by those working with NWMO.”
Northern Saskatchewan remains the second poorest region in all of Canada in spite of the uranium mining “boom”, and bringing 20,000 truckloads of highly radioactive nuclear wastes to the north will not change the highly inequitable pattern of mal-development. A new, sustainable path will need to be charted. Natomagan talks rhetorically about “standing up straight and making an informed decision”. The northerners walking from Pinehouse to Regina are not only standing up for the future of the north but for the future of the whole province.
Jim Harding is a retired professor of environmental and justice studies who is active with Kairos and the Coalition for a Clean Green Saskatchewan.
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Spread the word! Join us! Bring a friend!
7000 Generations Walk Arrives in Prince Albert Media Release
The 7000 Generations Walk arrives in Prince Albert on Tuesday August 2.
The Committee for 7000 Generations has organized an 820 kilometre march against nuclear waste storage and transportation in Saskatchewan. On August 3 the walkers and supporters will gather at 9:30 a.m. Food ‘N Fuel at the Nordale corner and walk to City Hall where they will be welcomed to the city from 12:00 pm-2:00 pm. A social, featuring Leonard Adam, Violet Naytowhow and Liza Brown, will take place at the Union Centre at 7:00 P.M. the same day. The 7000 Generations Walk will continue on August 4 to Duck Lake and Batoche and will arrive in Regina on August 16.
The 7000 Generations Walk seeks to raise awareness among Saskatchewan citizens about the planned nuclear waste dump as proposed by the Nuclear Waste Management Committee (NWMO) The NWMO, a nuclear industry controlled committee, is working with three communities in northern Saskatchewan in an attempt to find a “willing host” for a site that will store high level radioactive nuclear waste which is being produced in nuclear reactors located in New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario.
The storage and transportation of high-level radioactive waste presents huge environmental and health risks to the community that may be the site of the nuclear waste dump and to all communities that are on the transportation route. As such, the storage and transportation of nuclear waste is an important issue not only for northerners, but for all Saskatchewan people.
In an attempt to counteract the lack of information being made public on this issue, the Committee for 7000 Generations hosted a Forum on Nuclear Waste Storage in Beauval on June 2nd, 2011. Over 200 people from 12 northern and 8 southern communities participated in this forum, which passed a resolution to send a strong message to the Saskatchewan government to “BAN NUCLEAR WASTE STORAGE AND TRANSPORTATION OF NUCLEAR WASTE INTO, OUT OF AND THROUGH SASKATCHEWAN”. The Mayors of La Loche and Ile-a-la-Crosse have taken a stand against nuclear waste, leading by example with courage and vision.
However, the Committee for 7000 Generations needs the support of ALL Saskatchewan citizens to send this message to government. We cannot sit back and assume that our leaders will do the right thing for the people. The Committee for 7000 Generations will be collecting signatures on a petition requesting the Saskatchewan Government to legislate a ban on the storage and transportation of nuclear waste in Saskatchewan. – 30 –
Prince Albert Contacts:
Rick Sawa (Council of Canadians)—961-7894
Jim Bahr (Council of Canadians)—763-1963
Steve Lawrence (Renewable Power Intelligent Choice)—922-1062
Bryan Lee (MN-S Local 108 Fish Lake)—982-4576
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Make a donation to support The Committee For Future Generations “7000 Generations Walk”
The Committee For Future Generations needs your support to make this summer’s historical walk to Regina a huge success.
Donate by cheque made out to “Committee for Future Generations” to:
Royal Bank of Canada
130 Centre Street, P.O. Box 728
Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan Canada S9X 1Y5
Donations to the Coalition for a Clean Green Saskatchewan for the 7000 Generations Walk will be forwarded. Once you have filled out the donation amount on Pay Pal, you will see “Add Special Instructions for Seller”. Simply make a note indicating your wish to support the walk.