Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hydro project will wipe out Innu land

This Letter to the Editor was published in "The Labradorian" in January 2009:

Dear Editor:

First of all, I want to express .my feelings about the Hydro Project that will take place soon. I still have not forgotten about Mista-Shipu (Churchill River). There are many elders that are not happy about the Hydro Project that will take place. They talk about the land where our ancestors have lived for thousands and thousands of years. This is where our ances­tors survived from the land and animals.

There will be a lot of destruction and damage done to the land. We are not talking about a small project this will be huge. We will see a lot of big equipment being used, for example: big trucks and tractors that will destroy the trees. The water will be polluted and con­taminated. Once the land is flooded over, there will be no sign of where our people have lived. It will all be under the water. How is the Innu going to feel when they have to look at the land being flooded over again? It will be heartbreaking because it was the Innu and other non-native people that have once hunted in that area.

I keep asking myself ques­tions. Are we just going to stand by and watch this huge project take place? Once Mother Nature is hurt, that is how much our (Tshishenut) elders will feel the pain.
One last example, I want to ask the people who live in Goose Bay, the ones who live by the Churchill River, I know how beautiful it is when I look at the houses that are standing there by the shore, there are sandy beaches and boats tied up, what effect will it have? Already I see changes today. During the summer time we see many sandbars that we didn't see before. I believe this had to do with the new bridge that was built. We will see a lot of changes once the project goes ahead.

These are just some of the concerns the elders and I have. I want to thank the people who will take the time to read this.

Elizabeth Penashue Sheshatshiu, NL

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