First Nations in NAN have a mandate from the Creator to be stewards of the lands and waters of the entire NAN territory. First Nations have also not ceded ownership to the Treaty 9 and 5 territories and have the right to direct the management, conservation and development of resources located in, adjacent to and through their reserve lands and traditional territories.
In July 2005, NAN Chiefs-in-Assembly passed Resolution 05/57 declaring NAN a Nuclear Waste Free Zone.
The Canadian government, through the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (“NWMO”), developed a site selection process. First Nations in NAN have reviewed this process and have found it to be in contravention to Article 29 (2) of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which says:
“States shall take effective measures to ensure that no storage or disposal of hazardous materials shall take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples without their free, prior and informed consent.”
NAN, at the direction of the Chiefs-in-Assembly will continue to ensure that the territory remains a nuclear waste free zone and encourages that due diligence be undertaken by any “interested community” (defined by NWMO as being a city, town, village, municipality, region or other municipal structure) in our territory who may be considering the storage of nuclear waste.