Article

Land claims behind wind project: Innu Nation

The head of the Innu Nation alleges that a proposed wind energy project near Churchill Falls is an attempt by the Métis to bolster their land claim in Labrador. Toronto-based Ventus Energy and the business arm of the Labrador Métis Nation want to build a $2.5-billion wind farm along the shores of the Smallwood Reservoir.

Innu Nation President Ben Michel said the proposal is about much more than just business.


Michel said the proposal is part of a plan to convince the federal government that the Métis have land rights in Labrador.

To date, Ottawa has only recognized the land rights of the Innu of central Labrador, not the Métis.

Speaking at a meeting on the proposal in Happy Valley-Goose Bay Tuesday, Michel said Ventus may have picked the wrong aboriginal group.

"We're not going to play second fiddle to another group who doesn't have a recognition of land claims," Michel said.

"This is our land claims area. This is the only door that you can come in through. There is no other door."

Chris Montague, the president of the Labrador Métis Nation, said all Labrador groups should work together.

"This is a megaproject," he said.

"Nobody has to play second fiddle here. We can all be part of the orchestra. We can all play a part."

John Douglas, the former investment broker who now heads Ventus, said the proposal to generate wind on four square kilometres of land on the eastern shore of the Smallwood Reservoir can still welcome new partners.

"We finalized or initiated a partnership agreement with the Métis Development... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Innu Nation President Ben Michel said the proposal is about much more than just business.


Michel said the proposal is part of a plan to convince the federal government that the Métis have land rights in Labrador.

To date, Ottawa has only recognized the land rights of the Innu of central Labrador, not the Métis.

Speaking at a meeting on the proposal in Happy Valley-Goose Bay Tuesday, Michel said Ventus may have picked the wrong aboriginal group.

"We're not going to play second fiddle to another group who doesn't have a recognition of land claims," Michel said.

"This is our land claims area. This is the only door that you can come in through. There is no other door."

Chris Montague, the president of the Labrador Métis Nation, said all Labrador groups should work together.

"This is a megaproject," he said.

"Nobody has to play second fiddle here. We can all be part of the orchestra. We can all play a part."

John Douglas, the former investment broker who now heads Ventus, said the proposal to generate wind on four square kilometres of land on the eastern shore of the Smallwood Reservoir can still welcome new partners.

"We finalized or initiated a partnership agreement with the Métis Development Corp. [and] we're hoping to expand and add new partners to that," Douglas said.

Ventus Energy and its Métis partners are scheduled to pitch the wind project to business leaders in western Labrador on Wednesday.

Source: http://www.cbc.ca/nl/story/...

FEB 15 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/1322-land-claims-behind-wind-project-innu-nation
back to top