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NEWS RELEASE:
Road to the Keeyask dam site blocked: Local Cree fed up with treatment by Hydro and governments

On August 13th, 2014, members of the Tataskweyak Cree Nation set up a roadblock at the junction to Split Lake and PR 280 which runs between Thompson and Gillam, MB. Information pamphlets are being handed out to motorists for support to begin addressing the deplorable road conditions and other outstanding issues between the community and Manitoba Hydro.

NEWS RELEASE:
Road to the Keeyask dam site blocked: Local Cree fed up with treatment by Hydro and governments

Split Lake, Man. – Backed by four of the five band councillors, members of Tatakweyak Cree Nation are now blocking Manitoba Hydro traffic on Provincial Road 280, the only route to the site of the recently approved Keeyask Dam.

The Keeyask site is 58 kilometres from Split Lake, the main TCN community. Split Lake is located about 140 kilometres northeast of Thompson, also along PR 280.

Councillor Melanie Spence, one of the blockade organizers, says people in the community are fed up with being treated like second class citizens.

While Manitoba Hydro reaps huge benefits off TCN lands and waters, local people are left to endure conditions and a level of health and infrastructure services that most Canadians would never tolerate.

“We have been left behind,” says Spence. “Now that Hydro has our consent to build Keeyask, the company is treating us more like an obstacle than a partner.”

In 2009, TCN agreed to partner with Hydro and three other First Nations toward construction of Keeyask. But the process has been rocky and many community members are fed up.

Frustrations came to a head when negotiations with respect to the part of the Bipole III transmission line that passes through TCN territory went sour and when an army of trucks started hauling heavy equipment down PR 280 toward the Keeyask site, further deteriorating the gravel road that is the only way in and out of Split Lake and a longstanding source of concern for locals.

The blockaders’ are calling for a range of measure that would represent true partnership. They include, among others:
– paving of PR 280;
– resolution of a range of outstanding hydro-related damage claims from trappers and commercial fishers;
– good faith dealings by Hydro with respect to various construction work contracts that were to be granted to TCN-owned companies (related to Bipole III, PR 280 upgrades and Keeyask);
– a better hiring process and better working conditions for TCN members at the Keeyask site;
– a solution to hydro bills that are much higher than the provincial average;
– a reasonable compensation package for the family in whose home are Keeyask is being built; and
– environmental mitigation measures related to existing hydro operations.

Contact: Councillor Melanie Spence
204 679-1886 (cell)
mspence.tcn@gmail.com

 
Setting up camp at the roadblock Tuesday evening.
E Gordon McGillivary's photo.
E Gordon McGillivary's photo.
E Gordon McGillivary's photo.
E Gordon McGillivary's photo.
E Gordon McGillivary added 12 new photos to the album PR 280 Roadblock.

On August 13th, 2014, members of the Tataskweyak Cree Nation set up a roadblock at the junction to Split Lake and PR 280 which runs between Thompson and Gillam, MB. Information pamphlets are being handed out to motorists for support to begin addressing the deplorable road conditions and other outstanding issues between the community and Manitoba Hydro.

NEWS RELEASE:
Road to the Keeyask dam site blocked: Local Cree fed up with treatment by Hydro and governments

Split Lake, Man. – Backed by four of the five band councillors, members of Tatakweyak Cree Nation are now blocking Manitoba Hydro traffic on Provincial Road 280, the only route to the site of the recently approved Keeyask Dam.

The Keeyask site is 58 kilometres from Split Lake, the main TCN community. Split Lake is located about 140 kilometres northeast of Thompson, also along PR 280.

Councillor Melanie Spence, one of the blockade organizers, says people in the community are fed up with being treated like second class citizens.

While Manitoba Hydro reaps huge benefits off TCN lands and waters, local people are left to endure conditions and a level of health and infrastructure services that most Canadians would never tolerate.

“We have been left behind,” says Spence. “Now that Hydro has our consent to build Keeyask, the company is treating us more like an obstacle than a partner.”

In 2009, TCN agreed to partner with Hydro and three other First Nations toward construction of Keeyask. But the process has been rocky and many community members are fed up.

Frustrations came to a head when negotiations with respect to the part of the Bipole III transmission line that passes through TCN territory went sour and when an army of trucks started hauling heavy equipment down PR 280 toward the Keeyask site, further deteriorating the gravel road that is the only way in and out of Split Lake and a longstanding source of concern for locals.

The blockaders’ are calling for a range of measure that would represent true partnership. They include, among others:
– paving of PR 280;
– resolution of a range of outstanding hydro-related damage claims from trappers and commercial fishers;
– good faith dealings by Hydro with respect to various construction work contracts that were to be granted to TCN-owned companies (related to Bipole III, PR 280 upgrades and Keeyask);
– a better hiring process and better working conditions for TCN members at the Keeyask site;
– a solution to hydro bills that are much higher than the provincial average;
– a reasonable compensation package for the family in whose home are Keeyask is being built; and
– environmental mitigation measures related to existing hydro operations.

Contact: Councillor Melanie Spence
204 679-1886 (cell)