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PUBLIC STATEMENT from Kaaxnox, Dän Nätthe Äda

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 11, 2020

Dakwäkäda (Haines Junction, Yukon) On July 12, the Yukon Energy Corporation (YEC) submitted its own proposal to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board (YESAB) for the continued long-term operation of the Aishihik Generating Station (AGS), without addressing the issues raised by Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN) on behalf of our Citizens.  Our preferred approach would have been to work with YEC to prepare and submit a joint proposal.

CAFN believes in collaboration and wanted to reach shared outcomes with Yukon Energy for the continued operation of the Aishihik facility.  This is a disappointing turn of events and adds new challenges.  But we are cautiously optimistic that we can work together to get this right before the long-term licence is issued.

Like all Yukoners, our CAFN government and people want responsible and clean energy.  We want to be part of the solution when it comes to Äshèyi (Aishihik).  CAFN is committed to continue working together to find the best possible long-term solutions for responsible energy production.

The story of the dam at Äshèyi is one of hardship and past wrongs.  We have been impacted by the production of affordable power for Yukoners and industry for close to 50 years, and the costs to our land, water, fish, wildlife and people have been extremely high.  The Aishihik Generating Station is not green or sustainable energy, and comes at an enormous environmental and cultural cost to CAFN and the Yukon.

We have an opportunity now to reconcile past wrongs by working together. 

We are sharing this written public statement to affirm our position for the public record.  We will not be providing additional comments to the media at this time, as we prefer to go through the proper channels to continue our efforts to identify collaborative solutions to the ongoing impacts of the AGS.

Rose Kushniruk, Acting Chief, on behalf of Kaaxnox, Dän Nätthe Äda (Chief Steve Smith)

For more information: cafn.ca/aishihik-relicensing-2019

Amy McKinnon, Strategic Communications Manager, (867) 332-1973 or almckinnon@cafn.ca

Background:

The AGS currently meets up to 50% of Yukoner’s energy needs. CAFN Citizens have observed negative impacts to the Aishihik Lake, River and surrounding area since the construction of the dam in 1972.

YEC is currently operating the AGS under a short-term licence granted in early 2020, which is set to expire December 31, 2022.  The short-term license requires YEC to collaborate with CAFN.


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