The Clearwater River Dene Nation has established a checkpoint on Highway 955, as there has been an increase on uranium exploration.

An area north of the community is rich in uranium deposits.

The First Nation contents that the granting of exploration permits is being done without adequate consultation.

“The Government of Saskatchewan ran roughshod over the rights of the Dene People in this region for decades,” said Chief Teddy Clarke. “The issuance of uranium mineral rights and granting of exploration permits and approvals of damaging uranium mines by the GOS all occurred without our People’s meaningful involvement, participation or consent. This pattern of unacceptable behavior must come to an end, now.”

There is concern among the community as to how the uranium exploration will impact wildlife habitat and traditional land uses.

The First Nation said the checkpoint is also needed to monitor COVID-19 in the area as the community “has little to no knowledge of the third parties entering its lands and conducting activities harmful to land, water, animals and the CRDN People.”

Clearwater River Dene has retained Vancouver law firm JFK Law, which specializes in Indigenous litigation.

Community-based consultation will take place with trappers, Elders and members who exercise their land-based Rights.

“The CRDN will not permit what happened in the past to occur again and they will use all means at their disposal to protect the Treaty rights, culture and interests of the CRDN Elders, trappers and People. Our Elders, Trappers, community members and youth will have the last say over the way the land is used and how it is left for the future generations,” explained Clarke.

(Photo: Screenshot Google Maps)