Joan Scottie, 'Know-it-all editor should stop preaching to Inuit'

Joan Scottie
Baker Lake
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Know-it-all editor should stop preaching to Inuit


I am so incensed I can't think in English after reading Darrell Greer's editorial comment about Areva's proposed uranium mine west of Baker Lake (Kivalliq News, Feb. 25).

Has Mr. Greer ever heard of cultural values other than his own?

Before he writes another knowitall and uninformed editorial, he should get his facts straight.

We are Inuit, with our own cultural values and traditional beliefs.

How long do we have to live with people like Mr. Greer preaching to us about where and how to find our brighter future?

Sure, we want our community to evolve and prosper. But that means making our own choices and decisions and, in making those choices, we listen to our elders.

The elders of Baker Lake had a long discussion about this proposed mine and they voiced a lot of concerns.

I explained to them (because no one from any organization did) that they could provide comments to the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB), write whatever they wanted in syllabics and the HTO would send everything to the NIRB.

A few weeks ago, when there was an opportunity to comment to NIRB on a proposal by Uravan, the media reported people from Baker did not speak out and that embarrassed and angered people in town.

Most people didn't know how or where to participate in the discussion, as there was no public process and no one showed any interest or took the time to listen to our concerns.

The current screening and review process is not designed for Inuit to have access or to participate.

Most Inuit don't use the Internet or know how to use an FTP site to review a mining company's application to NIRB.

Scrap the whole process and replace it with a real Inuitbased process designed by, and for, Inuit.

The editorial called the opinions expressed suspect because the HTO offered prizes in a raffle among those who came out in a blizzard to write their input.

This is common practice in every community. Both NTI and KIA do it all the time at their meetings. Are they suspect?

The prizes offered by the HTO are nothing compared with the money and gifts handed out by Areva and other mining companies.

I guess you believe any support for their activities is suspect. People did not participate because of the prizes. This is an insult to those who wrote down their opposition.

The environment and wildlife are a lot more important than a $15 prize.

As one person wrote: "The caribou are like a million dollars to us."

A uranium mine, which has never been done in Nunavut or in permafrost, will have a very significant effect on our way of life.

We have a right to be satisfied all requirements for our health and safety are met.

You seem to be saying tailings and contaminates are no longer issues in uranium mining. Then why are so many of our Canadian neighbours opposed to uranium mining in their lands? Do they know something you're not telling us?

Joan Scottie
Baker Lake
Wednesday, March 18, 2009

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13 April 2009

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