Lawsuit seeks to halt expansion of Athabasca tar sands into Cree territory.
By Alex Ross.
In May 2008, the Beaver Lake Cree launched a lawsuit against the government of Canada and the province of Alberta to prevent the expansion of the tar sands into their territory, located in Lac La Biche, Alberta. According to the lawsuit, an 1876 treaty between the Cree and Alberta states that, “in exchange for the surrender of land,” the Cree have “the right to hunt and fish through the tract surrendered.” But development of the tar sands will render the land uninhabitable, the Cree say.
“What this case is about, for the Cree people, is protecting the integrity of their land and protection of the land in which they hunt and fish. And they are guaranteed that right to hunt and fish in their treaty,” Jack Woodward told the audience at George Ignatieff Theatre on October 28th at Tar Sands on Trial. The event was sponsored by Environmental Defence.