First Nation sets up blockade in path of Bipole III
The Sapotaweyak Cree Nation set up what they call "a peaceful occupation that includes a sacred fire" in the path of workers cutting down trees to make way for Hydro's planned Bipole III transmission line. (Photo courtesy of Sapotaweyak Cree Nation)
Published Saturday, January 24, 2015 3:40PM CST
Last Updated Saturday, January 24, 2015 3:55PM CST
A Manitoba First Nation has set up a blockade in the path of workers clear-cutting trees to make way for a hydroelectric transmission line planned to cross their ancestral lands.
The Sapotaweyak Cree Nation released a statement, saying they want work halted on clearing a path for Manitoba Hydro’s Bipole III until the provincial government consults with them.
The First Nation applied for an injunction to delay work on the line in December, but a judge denied their request earlier this month.
The planned route for the transmission line crosses the First Nation’s ancestral lands between The Pas and Swan River.
“I have exhausted the diplomatic and legal routes to voice our concerns against this project, and regrettably, the responsible Manitoba ministers and Manitoba Hydro bigwigs did not take our concerns seriously,” said Chief Nelson Genaille in the statement.
According to the First Nation, the land being cleared includes burial sites and other sacred places.