Labrador Land Protectors - Muskrat Falls Hydroelectric Project
The Muskrat Falls Hydroelectric Project is a dam that is currently being constructed on the Mista-Shipu (Grand River, also known as the Churchill River) in Labrador, Canada. It is located in Nitassinan, traditional homelands of the Innu, and directly affects Nunatsiavut, the adjacent territory of the Inuit of Labrador. Both Innu and Inuit peoples have been fighting against this project since its proposal, but opposition has ramped up in recent months.
1. Inuit and Southern Inuit/Metis were never consulted to give free, prior, and informed consent to this project. This projects affects the waterways and lands around Inuit Settlement Areas. That they were not consulted directly violates the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Article 28).
2. This project has been fraught with racism from the very beginning. Innu workers at Muskrat Falls worksite have faced everything from racist remarks to physical assault on the job. This is unacceptable.
3. The Muskrat Falls dam will cause significant methylmercury contamination. Methylmercury is a neurotoxin that bioaccumulates in fat as it travels through the food web. This is particularly harmful to the indigenous because they hunt and fish from these waters for subsistance. By contaminating the food sources of their traditional diet, Nalcor (the crown corporation constructing this dam) is cutting them off from their culture and way of life.
4. The dam itself is built on quick clay and poses a serious safety risk to the public. Experts have spoken out against the structural problems that arise from building on quick clay and have deemed it unsafe. Furthermore, Nalcor is passing the buck on their inadequate emergency response plan in case of a dam breach.
5. The economic impacts of this project will haunt the province in perpetuity. Nalcor's own CEO called the project a boondoggle! The estimated costs are up to $11.4 Billion and rising. This will impact the entire province, not just Labradorians.
A group of concerned citizens called the Labrador Land Protectors have mobilized in the fight against the Muskrat Falls Project. They organize demonstrations and direct actions voiceing their opposition to this project. In October 2016, resistance reached a boiling point and nearly 60 land protectors occupied the Muskrat Falls work site for five days. Since then, they've been facing countless charges (both civil and criminal) and the fight against this project is now playing out in the courts. However, they are not letting the charges stop them and they plan to continue the fight until Muskrat is shut down!
MORE INFO: https://fundrazr.com/labradorlandprotectors