(Manawan, Quebec) While the Chairman and CEO of Nouveau Monde Graphite (NMG), Mr. Eric Desaulniers, is speaking at the international online Benchmark Minerals Week 2020 event today, the Atikamekw Council of Manawan reaffirms that its community members have still not given their free, prior, and informed consent to the proposed Matawinie open pit graphite mine located in Quebec, Canada.
In this event, NMG makes claims about its environmental, social and governance performance in relation to the proposed Matawinie mine. However, despite three years of negotiations, the company still has no collaboration agreement or Impact-Benefit Agreement (IBA) with the Atikamekw Nation.
“As it currently stands, the expected repercussions on our territory are too great compared to the potential benefits and the project does not fully account for the rights and interests of the Atikamekw. Nouveau Monde Graphite must change its approach in order to respect our rights on the territory,” said Chief Paul-Émile Ottawa.
The Manawan Atikamekw Council defends the social aspirations of its community members and insists that any agreement contain specific clauses to protect our territory, while ensuring long term benefits to the Atikamekw and to future generations. Members of our community are especially concerned about the management of mine wastes and water quality. The Matawak River (Matawinie) is a culturally important passageway between what are today called the St. Lawrence River, the Saint-Maurice River, and the Red River.
In the important transition to a greener, more responsible and just economy, a caution is in order for the NMG project.
The Manawan Atikamekw Council urges NMG to show leadership and respect the rights and interests of the Atikamekw of Manawan while being innovative and respectful of our demands.
For more information: Sipi Flamand, (819) 971-1533, [email protected]
About the Manawan Atikamekw Council
The Manawan Atikamekw Council (CDAM) is made up of Chief Paul-Émile Ottawa and six councillors elected following the custom of the Atikamekw of Manawan. The CDAM acts on behalf of all members of the community of Manawan, which is located 250 kilometres north of Montreal and 86 kilometres North of Saint-Michel-des-Saints, on the south shore of Lac Métabesk.