News release: The NWMO issues Reconciliation Policy, calls on corporate Canada to join discussion
The NWMO Reconciliation Policy was formalized and blessed through an Indigenous Sunrise Ceremony in King City, Ont., that included members of the NWMO’s executive team and Board of Directors, and the NWMO Council of Elders and Youth.
Today, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) issued a Reconciliation Policy that sets out how the organization will contribute to Reconciliation. Under the policy, the NWMO commits to respectful and meaningful engagement with Indigenous peoples and communities, providing cultural awareness and Reconciliation training to staff and contractors, and annually publishing a Reconciliation implementation plan.
The policy builds on existing commitments, articulated in the NWMO Reconciliation Statement issued in 2018, to work by co-creating a shared future built on rights, equity and well-being with First Nation and Métis communities. The policy also builds on the NWMO’s commitment to collaboratively implement Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel.
“We have taken the next step in our journey by establishing a Reconciliation Policy, which commits to developing an annual implementation plan where we will measure and report on our progress,” said Laurie Swami, President and CEO of the NWMO. “It is important that the actions we take moving forward demonstrate the words behind our commitment to contribute to this important national conversation.”
The policy was formalized and blessed through an Indigenous Sunrise Ceremony in King City, Ont., that included members of the NWMO’s executive team and Board of Directors, and the Council of Knowledge Holders.
Reconciliation is a conversation that involves all staff at the NWMO, many taking personal action. “Reconciliation is important because generations of Indigenous lives have been made more difficult as a result of our shared history. I want to be part of a respectful, loving and constructive response that provides to a healing relationship Canada has with Indigenous peoples,” said Chantal Medri, Senior Scientist at the NWMO, reflecting on her recent Reconciliation training experience.
“Both individually and on a corporate scale, space needs to be created for Indigenous voices, and that voice needs to have the same respect as every other voice at the table. I am proud to lead an organization that values change and is committed to contribute to Reconciliation in all we do,” added Ms. Swami.
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.