CNS NWMDER 2019 Conference kicks off with discussion on community and Indigenous engagement
Bob Watts, Vice-President of Indigenous Relations at the NWMO, chaired a panel discussion, titled Community and Indigenous engagement, at the Canadian Nuclear Society’s (CNS) 4th Nuclear Waste Management, Decommissioning and Environmental Restoration (NWMDER) Conference in Ottawa, Ont.
September 9, 2019, marked the start of Canadian Nuclear Society’s (CNS) 4th Nuclear Waste Management, Decommissioning and Environmental Restoration (NWMDER) Conference in Ottawa, Ont. Building on the success of past conferences, experts from across Canada and around the world have begun gathering to exchange ideas, information and experience about the nuclear industry.
Discussions highlighting the importance of Indigenous engagement were a key focus of Day 1.
Bob Watts, Vice-President of Indigenous Relations at the NWMO, chaired a panel discussion, titled Community and Indigenous engagement, that included Cheryl Fort, Mayor of Hornepayne, Jim Gowland, Chair of the South Bruce Community Liaison Committee, Elder Diane Longboat, a member of the NWMO’s Council of Elders and Youth, and Joe Heil, NWMO Section Manager of Site Engagement for Indigenous Relations.
All spoke at length about their experience and the need to create meaningful relationships built on trust and respect. They also spoke about the importance of implementing Reconciliation and the value Indigenous Knowledge can offer to the nuclear industry.
The NWMO is committed to honouring Indigenous peoples and their world view by incorporating Indigenous Knowledge into all our work. These efforts are aided by the Council of Elders and Youth, an independent advisory body to the NWMO, which provides counsel on the application of Indigenous Knowledge in the implementation of Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel.
We will be back tomorrow with more from the CNS NWMDER Conference. Stay tuned!
The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is a not-for-profit organization tasked with the safe, long-term management of Canada’s used nuclear fuel inside a deep geological repository, in a manner that protects people and the environment for generations to come.
Founded in 2002, the NWMO has been guided for more than 20 years by a dedicated team of world-class scientists, engineers and Indigenous Knowledge Holders that are developing innovative and collaborative solutions for nuclear waste management. Canada’s plan will only proceed in an area with informed and willing hosts, where the municipality, First Nation and Métis communities, and others in the area are working together to implement it. The NWMO plans to select a site in 2024, and two areas remain in our site selection process: the Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation-Ignace area in northwestern Ontario and the Saugeen Ojibway Nation-South Bruce area in southern Ontario.