Gov. Janet Mills’ veto of bills that target the Central Maine Power transmission corridor makes her complicit in the cultural genocide of Indigenous communities in Canada. She is on the wrong side of history.

There is no excuse for anyone making decisions about the CMP project to be ignorant of the facts regarding methylmercury poisoning of Indigenous people and the environment caused by Hydro-Quebec’s dams. The Harvard School of Public Health has done two peer-reviewed studies on the topic. The 2016 study concludes that Inuit methylmercury exposure is forecast to double following reservoir flooding of dams in Quebec and Labrador; over half the women of childbearing age and young children in the most northern community studied are projected to exceed the U.S. EPA’s reference dose; and equal or greater aqueous methylmercury concentrations relative to the Muskrat Falls dam in Labrador are forecasted for 11 dam sites across Canada.

I was arrested recently in Ottawa, Canada’s capital, to show solidarity with Indigenous leaders from Labrador and Manitoba who had traveled 24 hours from their homes in remote areas to attempt to deliver a petition to their government about the cultural genocide their communities have been experiencing as a result of Canadian hydropower dams for over 40 years.

As one Indigenous woman explained to me, the transmission corridors for Canadian hydropower are corridors of the blood of the Cree people. As another told me, Canada’s hydropower is the equivalent of blood diamonds from Africa.

For Gov. Mills to support bloodmegawatts and to side with Hydro-Quebec and Avangrid is a shameful legacy indeed

 

Meg Sheehan

Lyme, New Hampshire


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