July 03, 2009

Nobel winner supports Innu

Nobel Prize winning author criticizes Quebec's new hydro project

By Michel DolbecCritics of a new hydroelectric project in Quebec now have a prominent ally--Nobel Prize-winning author Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio.

In an opinion piece published Wednesday in French-language daily Le Monde, Le Clezio denounces the Romaine River hydro project launched by the Quebec government last May.

The French author, who received the Nobel literature prize in 2008, decried the impact the $6.5 billion project will have on the region's natural beauty.

"Look at the photo that accompanies this piece," he wrote.

"Because soon it may be nothing but a memory."
The Native connection:He also contends the river's destruction would be an environmental catastrophe harmful to the Innu way of life.

"Forever, the river has been visited by nomadic Innu--the Native American tribe known to Quebecers as the Montagnais," the prize-winning author wrote.

"The Innu live in harmony with the river, it is their mother. For them, it is a sacred river linked through millennia to their history as it brings them game, fish and medicinal plants and berries."
Comment:  For other connections between Natives and Nobel Prizes, see Lama Meets Lummi, Natives Win "Nobel Prize for Environmentalists," and The Inuit Nobel Nominee.

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