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Message from the Innu Nation of Labrador

ON OCTOBER 6, 2020, THE INNU NATION OF LABRADOR STOOD UP AND TOOK ACTION AGAINST HYDRO-QUÉBEC.

“Kuei, Hello.

We filed a $4 billion claim against Hydro-Québec in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador as compensation for the illegal taking of our land to build the Churchill Falls Generating Station in 1969. The damming of the Churchill River to create the power station caused more than 6,500 square kilometres of traditional Innu territory to be flooded, which destroyed our hunting grounds, traditions, and way of life. It submerged places where our people had gathered together for thousands of years. Hydro-Québec’s bill is 50 years past due. We continue to take measures to keep the pressure on Hydro-Québec and to expose its hypocrisy. Today, we wish to provide you with a brief update on where we are at with our campaign.

  1. Hydro-Québec has not yet issued a response to our legal claim. We expect Hydro-Québec to take its next step in the legal proceedings in December.
  2. On October 8, alongside U.S. Center for Biological Diversity and The North American Megadam Resistance Alliance, we filed a formal notice letter with the U.S. Department of Energy over its failure to fully address the environmental impacts of the proposed Champlain Hudson Power Express hydroelectric transmission corridor, through which Hydro-Québec plans to sell electricity generated by dams built on Indigenous lands in Québec to New York City.
  3. On November 9, in a powerful letter sent by Chief Ghislain Picard to Sophie Brochu, the new President & CEO of Hydro-Québec, the Assembly of First Nations Québec-Labrador declared its support for our legal claim against Hydro-Québec.
  4. On December 3, we filed a formal brief to the Canada Energy Regulator, alongside the Innu of Pessamit, the Atikamekw of Wemotaci, and the Anishnabeg of Pikogan, Lac Simon and Kitcisakik, in opposition to the building of the Appalaches-Maine Interconnection / New England Clean Energy Connect transmission line, through which Hydro-Québec plans to sell electricity generated by dams built on Indigenous lands in Québec and Labrador to Massachusetts. Read more here.
  5. We have greatly enhanced our Past Due website. In addition to the information about the October press conference and legal claim, the website now includes photos and videos, and it will continually be updated with news and information. Please check it out and let us know what you think!

The building of the Churchill Falls project caused irreparable damage to our lands and immeasurable grief to our people. There was never any consultation, consent, or compensation.

We will not give up this fight until Hydro-Québec takes responsibility for its actions.

We will continue to provide updates about our legal claim, and we thank you for your interest and support.”

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