Innu request DND amend supersonic flight training plans
For immediate release

February 19, 2009

Sheshatshiu, NL:

Innu Nation has requested the Department of National Defence amend plans to designate airspace for supersonic flight training over areas recently designated to become Labrador Innu Lands under a final land claims settlement.


Earlier this year, DND registered an application for environmental approvals with the provincial Environment Department, seeking authorization to conduct supersonic flights between 5,000 and 28,000 feet above ground level in the Seal Lake area. Innu Nation has requested the Province withhold approval until the proposal is substantially modified to avoid areas designated to become Labrador Innu Lands.


A significant portion of the proposed activities would occur over lands now designated to become Innu Nation lands under the historic Tshash Petapen (“New Dawn”) accord between the Province and Innu Nation concluded September 26, 2008.

We believe that DND has many other options that can be meaningfully explored. They have over 130,000 km2 of available training area, including zones well outside the areas that we’ve identified for our land claim settlement.”, stated Innu Nation Grand Chief Mark Nui. “The timing of their proposal to intensify military training over lands that will finally be recognized as Innu lands under Tshash Petapen suggests that DND is out of touch with the progress of our negotiations and our aspirations to finally resolve the many conflicts that have stood in our way as Innu people.” continued Nui.

Tshash Petapen is supposed to be about a new beginning for the Innu of Labrador”, concluded Grand Chief Nui. “But it looks like DND is determined to try to relive past conflicts. We think that there is a better way, and are prepared to work with DND to identify areas where they can train that will not have adverse affects on our lands or our rights.”

Innu Nation has long opposed military flight training over their traditional territory due to concerns about the impacts of jet noise and pollution on humans and wildlife. In the 1980s and 1990s, Innu focused worldwide attention on this issue by blockading runways at CFB Goose Bay.

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For more information: Peter Penashue, Deputy Grand Chief, 709-897-4019