First Nations organizations concerned about condo development at Juno Beach

The Anishinabek Nation and the Chiefs Veterans Council are raising concerns about the approval of a condo development at Juno Beach.

The Anishinabek Nation, a political advocate for 39 member First Nations in Ontario, expressed its concerns in a news release on Wednesday, noting the approved development would be a few metres from the Canadian Memorial on the D-Day landing site in France.

Reg Niganobe, Grand Council Chief of the Anishinabek Nation, said construction could begin as early as September.

He added that the organization is appealing to government to work with its French government counterpart to take “immediate intervention measures on this development.”

“We must consider the impacts this development will have on the fallen Veterans, their families, and the shared historic significance this site has to both of our nations,” Niganobe said.

The Anishinabek Nation noted that many of its citizens served in the Canadian military during the Second World War, adding that more than 14,000 Canadian soldiers landed in France on D-Day.

According to Melvin Hardy — Anishinabek Nation’s Chief of the northern superior regional deputy grand council — veterans have said that preserving these lands is a sacred and cultural responsibility.

“We must ensure the continual honouring of their memory and care for the land in which this event happened,” said Hardy, who is also the chair of the Chiefs Veterans Committee.

“It is paramount in recognizing the selfless contributions made by WWII Veterans and all those that lost their lives in this horrific battle.”

The Anishinabek Nation added that Juno Beach is important to its members, Indigenous nations and Canadians.

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