During the 1990s, a joint federal-provincial panel reviewed uranium developments proposed at a time of rapid expansion within the sector. The panel recommended local residents have more input into decisions about uranium mines. As a result, the province established the Northern Saskatchewan Environmental Quality Committee (NSEQC) in 1995.
The NSEQC helps bring Northern residents together to consider issues surrounding the development and operation of uranium mining and milling facilities. Since its establishment, 419 people from Northern Saskatchewan have represented their communities, with the majority being Indigenous.
Key roles and responsibilities of the NSEQC include: provide communication links among communities, industries, and regulators; participate in learning opportunities and information sessions; and stimulate discussion while raising concerns to industry, and government officials. The NSEQC also reports annually to the provincial government and Northern communities, where it summarizes the activities, conclusions and recommendations on uranium industry development and operations. NSEQC has developed into a long-respected voice for Northern input. For the past 25 years it has served as direct link between Northern communities and uranium development.
The NSEQC receives its mandate from the Government of Saskatchewan. The Ministry of Government Relations supports the NSEQC with a manager administrative support, and operations, including communications and public outreach as well as providing travel expenses for members to attend meetings and site visits.
Over the last 25 years, mine operators have committed to discussing environmental practices with the NSEQC, where Northerners freely share concerns, ask questions, make recommendations concerning environmental and worker safety, and share their traditional knowledge. The continued success of this partnership builds strong and meaningful collaboration, community involvement and valued Northern perspectives.
For more information, please visit Saskatchewan.ca/NSEQC