A Sept. 2 letter by Serge Abergel, an employee of Hydro-Quebec, made false claims about the government-owned company’s historical and continued mistreatment of First Nations tribes in Canada.

As a member of the Anishnabeg tribe, which is one of three tribes which has had our land and resources stolen from us, I feel compelled to speak up.

Serge’s claim that HQ has worked to preserve land use, promote traditional activities and ensure economic benefits for the people from which they’ve stolen land is completely different from reality, and from what I see every day.

HQ, and the government that owns it, have a dark history of abuse and mistreatment of the tribes that rightfully own the land which they exploit for profit. The agreements referenced by this government official are the product of coercion into forced agreements with minimal compensation.

The truth is that most of the power generated by HQ is generated and transmitted on our ancestral land without consent or compensation, and HQ continues to put profits before my basic human rights, and the rights of my people.

HQ approaches all interactions with Indigenous people with a colonial mentality. This company has cost my people everything: our heritage, culture, way of life and future.

I ask people not to let this government gloss over its many misgivings in the name of progress. Power generated by HQ has come at a great cost to my people as it continues to make profits off of the genocide of our culture.

Lucien Wabanonik, Lac Simon Anishnabe Nation councilor

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