Saugeen Ojibway Nation and Bruce Power collaborate on life-saving medical isotopes

Front row [left-to-right]: Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation Chief Greg Nadjiwon & James Scongack, Bruce Power Executive Vice-President Corporate Affairs and Operational Services. Back row: Associate Minister of Energy Bill Walker, Saugeen First Nation Chief Lester Anoquot, Brandy Oliveira, Strategic Initiatives Officer, Indigenous Services Canada and Mike Rencheck, President and CEO of Bruce Power.(photo by Jordan MacKinnon)

Saugeen Ojibway Nation is joining forces with Bruce Power to produce a new medical isotope.

Representatives signed an agreement Thursday that will use Bruce Power’s reactors to produce Lutetium-177, a medical isotope used to treat prostate cancer. S.O.N. and Bruce Power will jointly market and collaborate to create local economic benefits.

Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation Chief Greg Nadjiwon said it’s an opportunity of global proportions while giving S.O.N. a chance to benefit from the Bruce Power site that has not been historically afforded to the Indigenous community.

“When we meet, we have some concerns with Bruce Power being in our Nation’s territory and we’ve been locked out, and so this was an opportunity to partner and move the relationship forward,” said Nadjiwon.

Bruce Power President and CEO Mike Rencheck said the proposal is currently in the design stages, with hopes of beginning production by 2022.

“Being able to save lives globally, I think this is really a historic breakthrough in that we’ll be able to partner in internationally treating cancer and saving lives,” said Rencheck. “It’s something we can build a future on, not just a short-term answer, but a long-term answer.”

Rencheck added Bruce Power is working with international companies in hopes of building a processing laboratory somewhere in the region in the future.