The Mohawk Council of Kanesatake has requested a meeting with the council of the United Counties of Prescott and Russell regarding its approval of an official plan amendment requested by Colacem Canada. The company wants to build a cement plant outside L’Orignal.

The United Counties council recieved the letter making the request at its meeting of March 22 and decided a meeting would be scheduled.

The letter, from Grand Chief of the council Serge Simon, says Kanesatake community members are concerned about pollution from Colacem’s project, if it goes ahead. Kanesatake “is situated downriver from where the runoffs of Colacem Canada Inc. will collect and settle in parts of the river which is used for fishing and hunting by our members. This project will definitely impact us in every way, also seeing as our neighbors use it (river water) as their main water source,” it says. The community is located on the Lake of Two Mountains between L’Original and Montreal.

The letter points to the United Nation Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People, adopted by the Canadian government last year, “which requires prior and informed consent on a project with potential adverse impacts on their territories. The Mohawks of Kanesatake have established Aboriginal or treaty tights and historic use of the river between Montreal and Ontario.” The letter says the meeting would be to discuss a consultation process and review the project’s potential impacts.