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For immediate release
October 23, 2020
Treaty Five Territory, Thompson, MB – In its order yesterday, the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed that Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Inc. will be an intervenor (along with several others) in the critically important “Southwind” case to be heard a few months from now.
The case was brought by the Lac Seul Band against Canada (who then joined in Manitoba and Ontario) for breach of fiduciary duty in the flooding of reserve land and devastation of the band as a result, all for a hydro-electric project that earned profits for others and left Lac Seul penniless.
The case was last heard at the Federal Court of Appeal, which found in Lac Seul’s favour and ordered millions in compensation. But Lac Seul appealed the compensation award, saying it should have been calculated based on both significant cultural loss and on the use of the flooded land for hydro profits. Lac Seul proposed that compensation based on what it could and should have received as revenue sharing from the hydro project, was called for.
“Given the many Manitoba Hydro projects affecting MKO member Nations, and many others, and the ongoing legacy of harm to the Indigenous peoples and their lands as the profits are sucked out, MKO has important things to say in this case,” said MKO Grand Chief Garrison Settee.
The Supreme Court agrees. MKO’s written submission will be made on November 18, 2020.
“We will give voice to our Nations in their efforts to bring justice forward including through Canadian law as enforced against the Crown. This case gives us a great opportunity to push that law and justice where it needs to go,” stated Grand Chief Settee.
MKO’s legal counsel in this case, OKT Law, is working with MKO staff to prepare its case.
The hearing dates are not yet set but it is likely a few months away. Whether it will be on video due to COVID-19 or in person is not yet known. MKO will keep its member Nations informed.
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