Chief hopes Senate committee sees link between resource development, violence 

York Factory First Nation Chief Leroy Constant hopes a senate committee will seriously listen to how resource development is linked to allegations of physical and sexual violence in his community. (Kelly Malone/The Canadian Press)

WINNIPEG- The chief of a Manitoba First Nation says he hopes a Senate committee will seriously listen to how resource development is linked to allegations of physical and sexual violence in his community.

York Factory Chief Leroy Constant says more people have come forward to talk about violence and racism linked to hydroelectric projects over many decades.

A report released last year by the province’s Clean Environment Commission, an arm’s-length review agency, outlined discrimination and sexual abuse at Manitoba Hydro work sites in the 1960s and 1970s.

RCMP said in January that officers have conducted nine sexual assault investigations since 2015 at the Keeyask Generating Station and four resulted in charges.

Members of Amnesty International visited the community this week to hear the stories.

Different groups including some First Nations are to appear before the Senate Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources in Winnipeg Friday.

The committee is studying proposed federal legislation that would change how resource development projects are reviewed.

Amnesty International and some Indigenous leaders are calling for the process to include a requirement for gender-based assessments.

 

 

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