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Uranium Development

Florence Poorman

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      OCTOBER 1977      v07 n10 p19  
A tour of the proposed Cluff Lake uranium development project, hosted by AMOK Ltd., the developing company, was held in August for Chiefs or their representatives from the Meadow Lake and Prince Albert districts.

In the information available on the project one issue which is described as critical involves the assurance that the maximum number of new employment opportunities be made available to northern residents, rather than the southern, transient worker.

Michael Stoner, the Mine Development Manager, said this proposed active program would be mainly for northern Saskatchewan, and principally for the Natives in the western part of the province, on the north shores of Lake Athabasca. Stoner said people would be hired off-the-street, and would immediately commence a training program for about a month, after which they would become company employees.

The company proposes it will hire about 50% Native people.

Stoner said there would be two rates of pay involved for individuals...one, a lower rate during setting-up of the operation and exploration, and the second a higher rate during actual mining. The Mines-manager suggests the Cluff Lake operation would probably extend over a period of 12 to 15 years, but said this could be much longer, due to various other integrated programs.

Despite the rosy picture painted for the Indian people of the area by the company, a number of problem areas have been identified in information to the Bayda Inquiry, regarding development of the proposed mine-site.

Included in these is the probable disruption of the northern way of life, should an all-weather road be put through to Cluff Lake. An influx of tourists, campers, hunters, fisherman, and the like, and while there are paper promises of the number of native people that could, or should, be employed by the mine, there is no guarantee that this must come about. And, there is nothing to ensure that ANY of the monies generated by the mine, either directly or indirectly, will remain in the north to benefit the people of the area whose land it is.