RAVEN - Respecting Aboriginal Values and Environmental Needs

Blog: Crystal Lameman, BLCN band member

crystal lamemanThis challenge we face in the rights of Mother Earth and all living beings is not about our oil consumption in the lipstick and spandex we wear. It’s not about the automobiles we drive and the carbon footprint we leave in the jets in which we fly. Those are the red herrings of the oil industry executives. This is about the air that we breathe and the water that we drink. No matter your race, color or creed, this challenge is about you.

You can help a small Cree community challenge industry and the Canadian government – in court – because it’s the only way to stop the destruction of our land, water, plants, animals, and all that gives life for our future generations. We are preparing for what could potentially be the biggest court battle in Canada’s history – Beaver Lake Cree Nation versus the unmitigated expansion of the Alberta tar sands.

Beaver Lake Cree First Nation is a signatory to Treaty 6 – an agreement between two sovereign nations that dates back to 1876. Under the commonwealth, the nation state of Canada was and is bound by the promise that our way of life would be protected – As long as the sun shines, the grass grows, and the rivers flow. In 1982, Canada strengthened this promise with enduring constitutional protection. Since then, the Supreme Court of Canada has twice said industry’s right to develop lands over the objections of First Nations is limited.

The problem is those limits have yet to be clearly defined. And without clear limits, state-sanctioned tar sands industrial expansion continues to trample through our territories destroying the resources, and willfully ignoring the treaty-promised rights of the First Nations people of this land.

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