The Keeyask Generating Station Project
In March 2009, our community members voted in support of the Joint Keeyask Development Agreement (JKDA) and Adverse Effects Agreement (AEA). As a result, our Chief and Council signed the JKDA and AEA demonstrating York Factory First Nation’s support for the Keeyask Generating Station Project and becoming a co-proponent. While we support the Project, it is important to acknowledge we are impacted by this project in profound ways that concern our worldview, our culture, and our deep relationships with Askiy, which is our Cree word for the whole of the land, water, plants, people, animals, and all the creatures and elements. While there are YFFN members who believe becoming a partner in the Keeyask Project means we have become active participants in the inevitable damage to Askiy, we feel that it is very important that our First Nations have influence in the Keeyask Project for future generations to benefit from the training, employment, and revenues generated.
Over the past 10 years we have participated throughout the Keeyask Environmental Impact Assessment, including planning, research, working groups, negotiations, and reviewing the Keeyask Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The opportunity to participate in the EIS was one of the reasons behind our decision to become a partner in the Keeyask Project. Manitoba Hydro’s present actions are promising, showing positive signs of efforts made by a company that, until recently, failed to even consult our leadership and membership.
As we look to the future, we want to work with our partners for the entire life of the Keeyask Project to sustain and achieve respect for our Cree culture and self-determination, produce sustainable, tangible benefits for our First Nation, and continue to build trust and a meaningful partnership with Manitoba Hydro and the other Keeyask Cree Nations (Tataskweyak, War Lake, & Fox Lake). If we can achieve these objectives, then the Keeyask Project and Partnership will make a significant contribution to fulfilling our hopes and expectations for current and future generations.