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Date: Mon, 9 Mar 1998 22:46:39 -0800 (PST)
From: John Shafer <wy430@victoria.tc.ca>
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Innu block Bouchard and Tobin from signing

Canadian Alliance in Solidarity With Native Peoples, 9 March 1998

CASNP. 9-Mar-98. Today the Canadian Alliance in Solidarity with the Native Peoples CASNP rejoices with the determined Innu Nation who stopped Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard and Newfoundland Premier Brian Tobin from signing an agreement to develop the Lower Churchill River, which is Innu traditional territory. A crowd of Innu people blocked the vehicle from taking the two premiers to the place where the signing was to take place at 10:00 am Monday, March 9th at Churchill Falls.

After hiding out for a while from the Innu, Bouchard and Tobin were secreted away by helicopter and flown to another site for the signing. Unsmiling for the cameras, they looked pale and unhappy that the Innu crashed their party. The Innu titleholders of the land have informed them many times that they should be consulted on whether they want their unceded homelands flooded for another hydro development.

Said a source, Why is it that Quebec and Newfoundland can be publicly so mad at each other and yet sit together side by side cozily planning how they are going to illegally extract Indigenous land and exploit their resources? Why can't they sit with the Indigenous people and discuss this whole thing with them, and maybe ask them for their permission? We hear now they're going to throw few dollars their way. That's not what the Innu want.

Innu demonstrators from Labrador and Quebec showed up at Churchill Falls on Monday, March 9, 1998, to peacefully protest this signing by Premiers Tobin and Bourchard of a new proposal to develop the Lower Churchill River. They gave the two premiers a surprise welcome they did not appreciate.


The Churchill Falls Hydro Electric Project was completed in 1974 and resulted in the creation of the huge Smallwood reservoir of 6,700 km2, flooding important Innu hunting lands and burial sites. Substantially all of the 5500 MW generated at Churchill Falls is committed to Quebec until 2041, and is sold at a fraction of its value. Hydro Quebec resells much of this power to the US for enormous profit, accounting for a large percentage of its total export revenue.

Innu Nation President Katie Rich and Vice-President Daniel Ashini can be contacted for English-language interviews. Mamit Innuat spokespersons are available for French-language interviews.

Contact: 1-600-700-2789 (satellite phone).