Work resumes at Muskrat Falls as Innu accept Nalcor apology

Innu leaders in Labrador have publicly accepted the apology of Nalcor president and CEO Ed Martin, following an assault at the Muskrat Falls construction site last week.

The assault and allegations of racism towards an Innu worker led to protests at the site, which disrupted operations and opened a larger discussion about how aboriginal employees are treated while working at the site, where the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project is being built.

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According to Nalcor, protesters left the Muskrat Falls and North Spur construction sites on Tuesday morning. In a statement to CBC News, Nalcor said contractors are recalling their workers back to the sites.

On Monday, the Innu Nation released a statement saying it has accepted Martin's apology. The day before, Martin met with the victim of the attack as well as elders of the Innu councils.

Innu Nation Grand Chief Anastasia Qupee, who called for an end to the protests on Monday, said in a subsequent statement she was "pleased that [Martin] responded as quickly as he did to the call-to-action and to requests for both an apology and a commitment for a bilateral review of Nalcor Energy's commitments under the Impacts Benefit Agreement (IBA)."

Work resumes with Innu blessing

According to an official from Nalcor, work was underway at the Muskrat Falls site as of Tuesday morning.

In the meantime, Qupee said the Innu will continue to advocate for their workers in light of the recent attack and protest, but that they wish to see operations continue at Muskrat Falls.

"Just as the RCMP had to follow a process to lay charges for the attack, leadership must also follow a process to proactively deal with the issues," she wrote.

"In light of Nalcor Energy's response to Innu concerns, they are encouraging the protestors to allow resumption of normal activity at the site."