Dene Nation Supports Trial Against Energy at Beaver Lake Cree Nation Press Release by Dene Nation, June 7, 2013
The Dene Nation is in support of the Beaver Lake Cree Nation, a small First Nations band in northeast Alberta with a population of 800 people, who were victorious in making headway for a trial against the energy industry. The First Nation wants to know if its treaty rights are being violated namely by the cumulative effects of the oil sands development. They are also taking into consideration other industrial development impacts from the mining and forestry sectors. “It’s ironic that industry are allowed to keep expanding through approval of provincial and federal government grant permits,” said Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus.
Erasmus added that, “… the Beaver Lake Cree Nation contends that these industrial activities are violating their treaty rights so five years ago they launched a legal battle and that’s good! Now, the province of Alberta and the federal government have lost their shot to have it pitched out.” “This is significant, its big news! We are very pleased that the courts recognise the fact that the accumulated effects of the tar sands are having long term economic and environmental impacts on the Beaver Lake First Nations and other peoples. Understandably, the Beaver Lake Cree would seek compensation for having their hunting, trapping and fishing rights being imposed upon by these large projects,” said Erasmus. Erasmus concluded that the Beaver Cree First Nation need to see more limits to the development of the tar sands and more management control over these violations. “We are downstream and we too feel the effects from Alberta’s belief that they have legal ownership of the tar sands and therefore are abusing the land and water that becomes toxic through the refining process.”
[Refer also to: R.A.V.E.N Respecting Aboriginal Values and Environmental Needs ]