Batchewana says door has always been open to Michipicoten on wind farm

Michael Purvis, Sault Star
Batchewana First Nation says it has been trying to consult with Michipicoten First Nation on a planned wind farm for the last five years. Batchewana also refutes Michipicoten’s claim that the 36-turbine wind farm is set for Michipicoten territory.

The territory dispute came to light last week when the Anishinabek Nation announced that its northern Lake Superior chiefs had voted to oppose the wind farm, which Michipicoten Chief Joe Buckell charges is not part of Batchewana’s traditional territory. Batchewana Chief Dean Sayers and its partners, representatives of the private company that is leading the $240-million Bow Lake wind farm project, held a press conference on Wednesday morning to address Buckell’s charges.

Batchewana says Michipicoten has known about the project since the fall of 2007, and Batchewana and the companies involved in the wind farm development have made extensive efforts to both engage and consult with Michipicoten since then. Sayers said Buckell’s opposition to the project comes at the “eleventh hour,” with public hearings already started. “I believe we have gone to huge effort to engage Michipicoten,” said Sayers, in an interview Wednesday morning.

Calgary-based BluEarth Renewables Inc., the lead partner in the two-phase wind-farm project, is in the process of holding public meetings on its Bow Lake Wind Project, which would generate up to 60mw of electricity. Read article

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