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Health, Science and Environment

Sault Saint Marie tribe of Chippewa Indians bans Nestle bottled water at facilities

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The Sault Saint Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians has declared a moratorium on bottled water from Nestle.

The move was announced Monday after the tribe’s board of directors unanimously approved the ban at all tribally owned and operated facilities.

Aaron Payment is the chairperson of the Sault Saint Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. He said the tribe is opposed to the expanded water withdrawal permit approved for Nestle by the state.

“And it would make sense if Nestle was offering a huge and lucrative return on investment for Michigan to benefit, but it hasn’t been.”

Payment said tribal members have also been asked to participate.

“We realize we’re just one of twelve tribes so we’re sharing this with the other eleven tribes and encouraging them to do something similar.”

Payment said the tribe is considering expanding the moratorium to include all Nestle products.

The resolution was brought by Unit III Director Bridgett Sorenson.

In a written statement a spokesperson for Nestle said quote “We are disappointed that the Sault Tribe Board of Directors declared this moratorium.”

Their full statement can be read below:

We are disappointed that the Sault Tribe Board of Directors declared this moratorium. We support conversations about how to best promote environmental sustainability and about the responsible use of water in our communities. We have always welcomed the opportunity to meet with people and have constructive, fact-based discussions on these topics.

The MDEQ carefully reviewed and considered our application, in what it has called its most thorough review ever. Additionally, we have the highest degree of confidence in the more than 16 years of scientific data supporting our application, and in the professional scientists who collect and evaluate the data for the state. Nestlé Waters has always been and will continue to be a strong supporter of laws that protect the environment, and we continue to be committed to ensuring the sustainability of Michigan’s natural resources.