The Pinehouse collaboration agreement is between the Northern Village of Pinehouse/Kineepik Métis Local Inc., and Cameco and Areva uranium mining corporations. Kineepik claims to represent the Metis community in and around Pinehouse, and through this agreement has attempted to create the potential for industry to negotiate future compensation for encroachments upon, or attempt to extinguish traditional land use in, Métis territory marked for uranium mining or radioactive waste disposal.
Of great concern is the assertion in the collaboration agreement that “Kineepik (also known as Kineepik Métis Nation of Saskatchewan Local #9) is a representative organization of Métis peoples who are residents of Pinehouse and assert Aboriginal Rights,” whereby Kineepik claims that it can negotiate traditional land use rights on behalf of the Métis people in the community. In fact, the signatory to the agreement is Kineepik Métis Local Inc., which is a private corporation that is largely unaccountable to the community (as distinct from Kineepik Métis Local No. 9).
Another major concern is that in the collaboration agreement, “Pinehouse intends to fully support the Proposed Projects and acknowledges it will be a breach of this Agreement to oppose the issuance of any Proposed Authorizations or the construction, development or operation of any of the Proposed Projects.” Later in the agreement it explicitly states,
The specific legal commitment that the Village and Kineepik are making in the CA is as follows:
So long as Cameco and AREVA honour their commitments in the CA, remain in compliance with all laws pertaining, for example, to the protection of the environment and the health and safety of persons, and so long as Cameco consults Pinehouse on an ongoing basis and meaningfully addresses relevant concerns raised in such consultation processes, neither the Village or Kineepik, as organizations, will formally oppose the governmental or regulatory authorizations required from time to time for the existing operations and for the Millennium project [expansion to uranium mining operations].
The final agreement guarantees the Pinehouse Village Trust an initial payment of $1 million, another $500,000 after the Cameco-Areva Cigar Lake mine begins production, an additional $500,000 when Cameco’s Millennium mine extension begins construction, and further payments based on annual uranium production benchmarks. As of mid-2015, $3 million had been allocated to the trust fund.