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The NWMO has been recognized internationally with a Diversity and Inclusion Award for our work engaging young Canadians and Indigenous Peoples on the development of an Integrated Strategy for Radioactive Waste (ISRW).
The honor comes to us from the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) Core Value Awards, an internationally renowned association whose members seek to promote and improve the practice of public participation in relation to individuals, governments, institutions, and other entities that affect public interest in nations throughout the world.
“It’s been an honour to champion this project, with our team aiming to foster meaningful dialogue with diverse youth from across Canada through traditional and non-traditional approaches, including having youth speak to youth about these issues. To amplify their voices, the team understood it would be critical to engage with Indigenous, racialized and other youth who have historically been excluded from decisions,” said Karine Glenn, Strategic Project Director, Integrated Strategy on Radioactive Waste (ISRW), Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO)
The IAP2 Core Values Awards define expectations and aspirations of the public participation process. Processes based on the Core Values have been shown to be the most successful and respected. The Diversity and Inclusion Award demonstrates effective engagement with marginalized, vulnerable populations where the size, scope and scale of reflect the breadth of geography of Canada (including remote, rural or vastness of geography). This work reflects our commitment to continuing our Reconciliation journey. We know that working with Indigenous peoples, learning from Indigenous Knowledge, and applying learnings to our work are critical.
Click here to learn more about the ISRW project.
We’re committed to continuing engagement efforts. Just last month, we launched the 60-day public comment period on the Draft Integrated Strategy for Radioactive Waste Report. I invite you to read the draft report and share the forum link with your contacts and community.
About the ISRW Project
In 2021, the NWMO began engaging with Canadians and Indigenous peoples, conducting public opinion research, hosting a summit to hear from diverse perspectives, and listening to citizens in a series of engagement sessions in communities where waste is stored today, and hosting roundtable discussions and technical workshops.
The NWMO recognized that engaging with youth would be critical considering they will be the ones responsible for implementing and carrying out the long-term plan. To build a successful and meaningful dialogue on a complex and polarizing topic, we collaborated with youth to design and deliver processes that best captured their perspectives. Our approach included having youth speak to youth about these issues.
In our extensive engagement efforts, the NWMO’s youth engagement activities saw participation from 170 diverse Canadian and Indigenous young people 14-29 years of age across the country. The youth engagement process took place from April to November 2021 and included a total of 15 virtual sessions that were conducted in English and French.
These sessions were part of the broader series of interactive, accessible and collaborative engagement activities that welcomed a diversity of voices.
The thoughts and perspectives gathered informed The Draft Integrated Strategy for Radioactive Waste. This draft strategy represents a next step and builds on what we have heard from Canadians and Indigenous people. It is not intended to replace other long-term management projects currently in progress but rather includes these plans.
The draft is available for public comment until October 24. Submissions are accepted through the ISRW forum, as well as by email ([email protected]) during the 60-day public comment period. Click to learn more about the project.
About the NWMO
The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is a not-for-profit organization tasked with the safe, long-term management of Canada’s used nuclear fuel inside a deep geological repository, in a manner that protects people and the environment for generations to come.
Founded in 2002, the NWMO has been guided for 20 years by a dedicated team of world-class scientists, engineers and Indigenous Knowledge Keepers that are developing innovative and collaborative solutions for nuclear waste management. Canada’s plan will only proceed in an area with informed and willing hosts, where the municipality, First Nation and Métis communities, and others in the area are working together to implement it. The NWMO plans to select a site in 2024, and two areas remain in our site selection process: the Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation-Ignace area in northwestern Ontario and the Saugeen Ojibway Nation-South Bruce area in southern Ontario.
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