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By Will Braun Originally published on December 30th, 2017 in the Winnipeg Free Press The Keeyask dam is springing leaks, and the possibility of further cost overruns and delays, as recently reported, is just the start. The dam, now estimated to cost between $8.7 billion and $10.5 billion, was officially approved in 2014, based largely on Manitoba Hydro’s projection that demand for energy in Manitoba would grow by 1.5 per cent annually for 20 years, outstripping current supply. Hydro’s mandate, and the basic justification for Keeyask, is to power the province, with exports helpi

The Ongoing Impacts of Northern Hydro Development By Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition (originally published on MEJC's website on August 28th, 2017) Manitoba celebrates the “clean energy” that comes from Manitoba Hydro’s damn systems in the province’s North. But to call this energy “clean” is a misnomer. MEJC members recently participated in a tour of northern communities affected by Hydro projects. We heard harrowing accounts of how dams changed landscapes and the lives of those living on them. While it’s common knowledge that flooding at the time of dam construction al

If we could sum up the 2017 Spring Gathering in a phrase it would be, "Less talk, more action!" Breakout sessions during the Gathering identified priorities around five major themes: health, youth, fisheries, legal action, and activism and outreach. Each group identified action items to improve environment and community health, increase youth engagement, support the recovery and management of fisheries, fight for justice, and strengthen ties within the Alliance and increase outreach to the public and other groups outside the province facing similar injustices.

Tanjina Tahsin has recently come from Bangladesh and is a first-year graduate student at the University of Manitoba’s Master of Environment program. She has a B.S. (Honours) degree in Soil, Water and Environment from University of Dhaka. During her Master’s degree from the same department she studied Environment as her major arena of focus and completed a thesis on contamination (heavy metals) of food (specifically vegetables), sources of contaminants, and networks in the food chain, as well as their effect on human health. From 2013 to 2015 she worked for an International NGO, Internat

The Research and Steering Committees got together in mid-October to review proposals that were submitted for our fall intake date, September 18th, 2017. We received three project proposals of which two were approved. The third was sent back for more information and revisions. Here are the two community projects that were approved. The next intake date is January 15th, 2018. Grand Rapids Documentation & Archival Project $17,746 Gerald McKay, Grand Rapids  This purpose of this project is to preserve historical pictures and articles that were written before the construction of t

Sadie-Phoenix Lavoie is a 23 year old Anishinaabe Two-Spirit from Sagkeeng First Nation, graduating with a BA in Indigenous Studies and Political Science. Sadie-Phoenix formerly was the Co-President for the UW Aboriginal Student Council; Aboriginal Student Commissioner for the Canadian Federation of Students MB; and Vice-President of External Affairs on the University of Winnipeg Students' Association. Sadie-Phoenix is currently the National Executive Representative of the Circle of First Nations, Mètis and Inuit Students. Sadie-Phoenix has worked on numerous on student led initiatives inclu

Manitoba isn't the only province dealing with overzealous hydroelectric developers. At the moment the Peace River Valley in British Columbia is the site for the controversial Site C dam. The proposed mega-project is expected to flood over 100 km of river valley, decimating some of the most fertile land in northern BC, along with hunting, fishing, and trapping grounds, old growth boreal forests, and a critical wildlife corridor. There is a movement to stop the dam from being built. Last year many academics, including many involved in Wa Ni Ska Tan, put their names to a scholarly letter of

From August 14th-18th youth from six communities joined together in Nelson House for the 2nd Annual Wa Ni Ska Tan Youth Camp. We began with a long day of arrivals and introductions. The first evening was spent setting up camp, enjoying a delicious dinner of stew, and hanging out on the beach with a bonfire waiting for the final arrivals. We arose early the next morning for a hike that lead up to a viewpoint overlooking Nelson House and two of the three rivers that meet near Nelson House. The long trek through the bushes and up rocky terrain became rewarding when we arrived at t

From June 7th to the 10th, 2017 community members, researchers, and NGOs met in Norway House Cree Nation for our annual Spring Gathering. Over the course of four days over eighty people from 15 Metis and First Nations communities came together to discuss and address the impacts of hydropower. Youth and elders were well represented and it was a privilege to hear everyone's stories and work together on steps to move forward. We're hoping to make 2018 even better so thank you so much to everyone who filled out the evaluation. Here's what some people had to say: About the Gathering... "The food

The second publication of our annual Alliance newsletter is now available. Inside you will find articles, stories, interviews, poems and recipes, all related to hydro. Along with a community project and research update, a map indicating participating communities highlights a few key regions to pay close attention to. Not only focusing on Manitoba, this issue we have an article on Sustainable Water Governance and Indigenous Law, from the University of British Columbia, discussing the SSHRC Partnership Grant. Ervin Bighetty reflects on his experiences in his article Life as a Northern Advisor,

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