Innu traditionalists who oppose the SM-3 hydro-project have gotten some words of support from the Conseil des Atikamekw et des Montagnais.

Rene Simon, the council’s chairman, says Hydro-Quebec’s projects threaten the Innu way of life. He also criticized a compensation agreement signed by the Innu Chief of the Uashat mak Mani-Utenam reserve on July 14 that clears the way for Hydro to start construction on the $2.5-billion project.

“The signature constitutes a dangerous precedent,” Simon was quoted as saying in a Canadian Press report. “If the logic of this agreement is maintained and followed by other Band Council chiefs, the ancestral territory of the Montagnais nation will soon be entirely flooded by dams… And the Montagnais people will not be able to exercise its traditions, its powers and its rights.”

The Conseil des Atikamekw et des Montagnais represents 16,000 people in 12 native communities in Quebec. Simon said the group reserves the right to take all appropriate steps to stop, delay or modify the project.