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Inuit Nunangat Stories
Arctic, Circumpolar stories curated by @Northern_Clips [Full story? Click on headline]
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China’s creep into Greenland is setting off alarm bells: $2.35 billion iron ore mining project okayed

China’s creep into Greenland is setting off alarm bells: $2.35 billion iron ore mining project okayed | Inuit Nunangat Stories | Scoop.it
Much is made of China "going green." But maybe more attention should be paid to China going to Greenland.
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"...No longer. Prime minister Kuupik Kleist sees extraction of Greenland’s abundant natural resources as a way to shake free of Denmark—the island of 57,000 people is a semi-autonomous territory. A bill passed in December introduced a framework to open up extraction of these resources, which the peel-back of melting glaciers is making increasingly plentiful, to foreign wildcatters...."

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Uranium Territory: Inuit campaign for referendum over mine in far north

Uranium Territory: Inuit campaign for referendum over mine in far north | Inuit Nunangat Stories | Scoop.it

[excerpt]

Writing for the Dominion, Warren Bernauer explores the issues surrounding Nunavut's pro-uranium stance and the grassroots effort to let the people, not the government, decide the future of uranium mining at Baker Lake.BAKER LAKE—A conflict over a uranium mine in the far north, four decades in the making, has pitted members of a small Inuit community against their territorial government and a French company.

Inuit in the community of Baker Lake, located west of Hudson Bay in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut, have raised a hue over what they call a faulty, biased process and the Government of Nunavut's uncritical support for uranium mining.

John*, an Inuk from Baker Lake who spoke with The Dominion, said the Nunavut Government’s support for uranium mining was biased.

“The new government policy with regards to uranium, I think that’s biased,” he said. “Them knowing their own people don’t really want uranium mining and the impact it would have on the people. We’ve heard for years now the environmental impact it’s going to have in our community.”

He later commented, “I think there should be a ban on uranium mining...no uranium mining in Nunavut, period.”

Bill*, also an Inuk from Baker Lake, said that he was unsure whether or not the new policy truly reflects the opinions of Nunavummiut (“the people of Nunavut”).

“I think they should have held a [public] vote on the issue.”

Outrage over the government’s new policy has been expressed by Nunavummiut Makitagunarningit (Makita), (“The People of Nunavut Can Rise Up”), the region’s only environmental NGO, which called the process to develop the policy “biased” and “flawed.” High on the list of Makita’s complaints is the fact that the government relied on consultants with close ties to the uranium mining industry to develop its uranium policy.

[...]

In an e-mail to The Dominion, Makita member Jack Hicks took issue with the government policy’s assertion that uranium from Nunavut would only be used for “peaceful and environmentally responsible purposes.”

“We know where and how uranium from Nunavut could end up in nuclear weapons. Almost everyone I've ever spoken with—including people who are in favour of opening the territory to uranium mining—knows perfectly well that the [Government of Nunavut] and [Nunavut Tunngavik, Inc.] have zero control over how uranium will be used if it leaves the territory.”

“And given that the world has not found a way to safely store the highly radioactive waste from nuclear power plants, despite having spent countless billions of dollars trying, the idea that even non-military use of nuclear energy can be called 'environmentally responsible' is absurd,” Hicks said.

“What is tragically fascinating is that in a single generation the Inuit leadership has shifted from holding principled anti-nuclear positions (for example the Inuit Circumpolar Conference’s 1983 Resolution on a Nuclear Free Zone in the Arctic) to repeating the 'peaceful and environmentally responsible' lies of the politicians of the dominant society.”

[...]

*Due to the controversial nature of AREVA’s proposal, many people spoke under the condition of anonymity. In these cases, pseudonyms have been used.

Warren Bernauer is a graduate student at York University.

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Harper's cabinet mulls massive Chinese resource project near Kugluktuk Nunavut in Arctic

Harper's cabinet mulls massive Chinese resource project near Kugluktuk Nunavut in Arctic | Inuit Nunangat Stories | Scoop.it
Harper's cabinet mulls massive Chinese resource project in Arctic
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"...Some time in the new year, four federal ministers are to decide how to conduct an environmental review for the Izok Corridor proposal. It could bring many billions of dollars into the Arctic but would also see development of open-pit mines, roads, ports and other facilities in the centre of calving grounds for the fragile Bathurst caribou herd.
"This is going to be the biggest issue," said Sally Fox, a spokeswoman for proponent MMG Minerals, a subsidiary of the Chinese state-owned Minmetals Resources Ltd.
It would be hard to exaggerate the proposal's scope. Centred at Izok Lake, about 260 kilometres southeast of Kugluktuk, the project would stretch throughout a vast swath of western Nunavut.
Izok Lake would have five separate underground and open-pit mines producing lead, zinc and copper. Another site at High Lake, 300 kilometres to the northeast, would have another three mines.
MMG also wants a processing plant that could handle 6,000 tonnes of ore a day, tank farms for 35 million litres of diesel, two permanent camps totalling 1,000 beds, airstrips and a 350-kilometre all-weather road with 70 bridges that would stretch from Izok Lake to Grays Bay on the central Arctic coast....

"Both the Izok Lake mine site and the High Lake mine site, as well as the route of the Izok corridor all-weather road, occur either near to or on the Bathurst calving ground," wrote the government of the Northwest Territories.

"The proposed project may cause significant adverse effects on the ecosystem and wildlife habitat," wrote Environment Canada.

"We are concerned that our hunting and harvesting rights will be in jeopardy if the project is allowed to proceed as is," added the Lutsel K'e Dene.

Many pointed out that the Bathurst herd has only recently stabilized after a 90 per cent drop in the 1980s to today's 32,000 animals. That drop was steep and sustained enough for aboriginal groups to stop hunting the herd and many are leery of anything that could impede its recovery...."

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