LIttle First Nations Band a Threat to the Oil Industry Says Former Harper Aide – EDI Weekly
A special investigative report by Derek Armstrong
A tiny First Nations band, the Beaver Lake Cree Nation, hopes to do what many international organizations such as Greenpeace and Sierra Club would love to accomplish: stop the Alberta tar sands.
This impoverished little band of nine hundred is suing the government of Alberta for violating its treaty rights in developing the tar sands. The statement of claim lists more than 12,000 “developments,” mostly individual leases granted to oil companies for forestry, road building, laying of seismic lines, drilling and SAGD development. All of these developments, the claim maintains, are infringements of the Beaver Lake Cree Nation’s treaty rights and are therefore illegal and unconstitutional.
(In context of the Copenhagen climate summit)
While Copenhagen focuses on the future, the Beaver Lake Cree Nation’s lawsuit highlights the ugly, immediate consequence of unbridled exploitation of the environment. They face the imminent, irrevocable destruction of the land that sustains their way of life. Climate change and CO2 levels hardly matter if their land and livelihood is already lost. It’s a bit like telling someone on his deathbed with cancer that you hope to have a cure in ten years.
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