WINGHAM, ONT. -- Just days after voting down plans to bury nuclear waste in their territory, the Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON) has joined a national nuclear council.

SON, which is made up collectively of the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation and the Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation, is the first indigenous community to join Canada’s Nuclear Isotope Council.

Last year, the First Nation bands signed an agreement with Bruce Power to jointly market nuclear isotopes and establish nuclear isotope infrastructure in SON territory.

Despite voting down plans to bury Ontario’s low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste two weeks ago, Saugeen leadership says joining the isotope council makes sense for them.

“Many in our communities have been impacted by cancer in some way, and I believe that working with the Canadian Nuclear Isotope Council on the next generation of life-saving isotopes in the SON territory is an opportunity for us to have a positive impact on the people and families touched by cancer,” says Greg Nadjiwon, Chief of the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation.