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Category Archives: Interviews

Climate Watch Shorts: The Elders’ Perspective – TVO

Indigenous communities who have fished, hunted, and lived in Ontario’s north for generations have a unique understanding of how their environment is changing. Elders pass down environmental knowledge that simply doesn’t exist anywhere else. The government and researchers are starting to recognize the value of what elders know and are launching projects to gather traditional knowledge.




Pimicikamak Okimawin opposed to Northern Manitoba dams

Excerpt – Read full article here.

 - Ivan Moose of Fox Lake Cree Nation speaks in front of a Pimicikamak flag outside the Mystery Lake Hotel in Thompson May during a protest against Manitoba Hydro’s dam development plans organized by Pimicikamak Okimawin while the Public Utilities Board was hearing from presenters inside as part of the Needs For and Alternatives To Review (NFAT) of ?the Crown corporation’s preferred development plan. - Nickel Belt News photo by Ian Graham

Members of Pimicikamak Okimawin – the traditional government of Pimicikamak, an indigenous nation that includes but is not equivalent to Cross Lake First Nation – and other Northern Manitoba communities affected by flooding from the building of Manitoba Hydro dams in the past gathered at the Mystery Lake Hotel in Thompson, which is owned by Nisichawaysihk Cree Nation, on May to voice their opposition to further dam-building while the Public Utilities Board was hearing presentations from the public inside as part of the Needs For and Alternatives To Review (NFAT) of the Crown corporation’s preferred development plan.

“Hydro talks about partnerships with First Nations,” said a printed copy of remarks made by Pimicikamak vice-chief Shirley Robinson, who spoke at the gathering. “But its northern partners only make up about one-third of hydro-affected Aboriginal people in the north. For two thirds of us – in Cross Lake, South Indian Lake, Norway House, Grand Rapids, Easterville and Moose Lake – this so-called new era is just the same as the old era. It is an era of disrespect.”

“Our people have said no more dams, our elders have spoken, our women have spoken,” said David Lee Roy Muswaggon, a member of Pimicikamak’s executive council, which along with the women’s council, elders’ council and youth council make up the First Nation’s traditional government structure. “They said no more dams because in the Northern Flood agreement they said, they promised to assess the cumulative effects of existing dams today. We can’t keep building dams without knowing what damage has been done to the current river and lake system for people that do not hunt, fish or trap. Thousands of miles have been eroded. The ecosystem has been destroyed and decimated. Spawning grounds, everything. Our fish are no longer healthy. Our animals are no longer healthy. People need to understand that hydro is not clean and green.” Continue reading


Vocal Vibes Interview – Deep Waters

Ella Lake – Blue Green Algae Bloom lasted from November 2012 to May 2013

Deep Waters – the latest edition of Vocal Vibes Podcast

Vocal Vibes recently interviewed Linda Heron, Chair of the Vermilion River Stewardship and the Ontario Rivers Alliance.

We all live in a watershed.  That’s not something most North Americans think about, even though we turn on our taps many times a day, wash our cars, fertilize our lawns, or throw away toxic substances.  The Deep Waters edition of Vocal Vibes dives into water quality, a type of bloom that you don’t want, and small victories.

Click here to listen to the interview.

 

 

 


High Falls, Sturgeon River – 1993 Dam Project – MNR Report abandoned in 2006

Click here to Listen to this episode of Tapestry.

Season 18: Episode 29

Anthony Lawlor is an architect who has made it his job to find the sacred in the ordinary. He and Mary talk about how the divine is not limited to churches, mosques, synagogues and temples. Lawlor says you can find it everywhere, if you just look  – even in your own kitchen.  For more on our show and our guests…
I’m drawing your attention to the interview at 34:40 min.:
After that, we visit a place where a construction worker dug up something he didn’t expect to find. In High Falls, Ontario in the fall of 1992, a dam project was at a crucial phase. The plan was to generate hydro and provide development for the local economy.However, a skull and two bones showed up after several days of heavy rains. Testing revealed they were human remains, and suddenly, the site took on a whole new meaning for the nearby Poplar Point Ojibway First Nation.Many Ojibway believe that wind and rushing water are vital for communication between the living and the dead. The dam would block the voices of many ancestors. Jody Porter‘s documentary, This Powerful Place, explores the difficult questions faced from the perspective of one of the band’s elders and an archeologist hired to investigate.

Green Energy be Dammed!

We all want green energy, but let’s ensure it is truly green.

Wabagishik Rapids is a beautiful 1 km stretch of rapids on the Vermilion River, about 1/2 hour west of Sudbury, Ontario.  A developer is proposing to build a modified peaking  hydroelectric dam that would only produce enough power to supply about 1,600 homes.  These types of dams have numerous negative impacts associated with them, and are very harmful to the riverine ecosystem.  Check out this film to find out more.


Des algues bleu-vert même en hiver près de Sudbury – Blue-green Algae on Ella Lake, Sudbury

To view news video – click here.

Plus tôt ce mois-ci les riverains du lac Ella dans le Grand Sudbury ont été avisés de la présence de cyanobactéries communément appelées algue bleu-vert dans les eaux de leur lac.

Normalement, les cyanobactéries envahissent le plan d’eau pendant les derniers mois de l’été.

Le phénomène est surprenant en hiver. C’est d’ailleurs la première fois qu’on rapporte la présence de ces algues en plein hiver dans la région.

Un résident des environs, lors d’une partie de pêche blanche, en a retrouvé par hasard au bout de sa canne à pêche. Aussitôt alertées, les autorités sanitaires ont alors distribué un avis recommandant d’éviter d’utiliser l’eau du lac pour la consommation et pour se laver.

Elles ont mandaté le ministère de l’Environnement pour faire des tests approfondis.

L’analyse de ces tests a été publiée cette semaine. Les résultats indiquent que la concentration de toxines n’est pas assez élevée pour être nocive pour la santé humaine.

D’un point de vue scientifique, la découverte d’algue bleu-vert en hiver ne surprend pas le biologiste marin, Charles Ramcharan, du Centre pour la vitalité des lacs de l’Université Laurentienne. « Les lacs ne dorment pas sous la couche de glace qui les recouvre », dit-il. « Les organismes vivants ne gèlent donc pas et les cyanobactéries sont reconnues pour ne pas avoir un si grand besoin de lumière. Cela peut expliquer leur présence au lac Ella cet hiver », ajoute-t-il.

Le Service de santé publique de Sudbury conseille à tous les riverains, de la région, d’être vigilants devant l’apparition imminente d’algues bleu-vert. Celles-ci se multiplieront avec l’arrivée des mois chauds d’été.

D’après le reportage d’Olivier Charbonneau.


Cliffs considers Vermilion River for smelter’s water supply

Vermilion River

Vermilion River

CBC Morning North – Click to listen to interview with Linda Heron
Other industrial development planned for Vermilion as well

Cliffs Natural Resources says it’s evaluating a number of water sources, including the Vermilion River, for its proposed ferrochrome smelter in Capreol in Sudbury — and that has the local stewardship committee concerned.

Vermilion River Stewardship chair Linda Heron said the river can’t take any more development.

“For years the water levels have been going lower and lower, so we question what we can afford to lose additionally out of the river,” she said.

There are already five proposals for hydro-electric dams that could end up on the Vermilion River, in addition to the Cliffs project. Xeneca has four proposed Hydro electric dams on the Vermilion River, and Water Power Group plans to put a hydroelectric dam in Capreol. Continue reading


Navigable Waters Protection Act: Lakes and Creeks: Government – CBC Radio 1

 In Question Period today, Transport Minister Denis Lebel was once again answering questions about the environmental impact of the changes he plans to make to the Navigable Waters Protection Act.We had hoped to ask the Minister some questions of our own on Tuesday. That’s when news broke that ninety percent of the ninety-seven lakes that will continue to be covered by the law are either inside, or lapping against, Conservative ridings.We didn’t hear back from the Minister’s office. But we did talk to the Ottawa Citizen reporter who broke the story.

That conversation led to this e-mail from Joan and Larry McFarlane, who have a cottage on Skeleton Lake, a hundred-and-fifty kilometres northeast of Edmonton.

“What protections were in place for the thousands of lakes before this change? Can we access a list of the old and new protected lakes. We don’t recall any mention of lakes in Saskatchewan or Alberta. Also, how did the government decide which lakes to include now? We would really like some more info on all this.”

You and me three, Joan and Larry McFarlane.

We’ve got a list of the bodies of water that made the cut. We’ll get that up on our Facebook page.

For the rest, we’re hoping Nathan Gorall can help. He’s a Director General at Transport Canada. We reached Mr. Gorall in Ottawa.

Listen to CBC Taped Interview – Part Three


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