Crystal Lameman of the Beaver Lake Cree Nation will be speaking at the Common Causes ‘Pros & Cons: Policies for People and the Planet’ teach-in on June 29 in Calgary.
Her Nation has won the right to “proceed to trial soon” against the “cumulative effects” of the tar sands (and mining and forestry) as a violation of their Treaty rights. Their territory, which covers a large portion of northeastern Alberta about the size of Switzerland, “yields” 560,000 barrels per day (30 percent of the daily output from the tar sands), with daily production expected to increase to 1.6 million bpd.
Postmedia News reports, “The Alberta and federal governments have lost a second attempt to derail a five-year-old court case by a Lac La Biche-area Cree nation that’s fighting to slow the pace of oilsands development in the province’s northeast, including heavy-oil development near Cold Lake. The Beaver Lake Cree argue that more than 300 oilsands projects, when taken together, are having a negative impact on their rights under Treaty 6 to hunt and fish. The case, launched in May 2008, can now proceed to trial.”
That said, it appears, “The appeal court upheld an earlier Court of Queen’s Bench ruling that the case should proceed also on the more limited grounds of compensation for damages only. The lower court struck down the Beaver Lake Cree attempt to have the federal and provincial governments revoke the thousands of permits already handed out for pipelines and in situ oilsands operations using SAGD (steam-assisted gravity drainage) to pump steam underground to soften the bitumen.” But there is no doubt that the stakes are high. The Globe and Mail reports, “The cumulative effects argument is a touchy topic in Alberta and if the Beaver Lake Cree Nation comes out on top, it could force the governments to revamp the way they review and approve industrial projects…”
“The province is reviewing the judgment before deciding whether to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada and has no further comment, said a spokesperson for Alberta Justice and Solicitor General. The Crown has until the end of this month — 60 days from the release of the written judgment (issued on April 30) — to decide whether to appeal.”
Powerfully, Lameman says, “It is my obligation as a mother, my obligation to my ancestors to ensure we have our rights respected. It’s my obligation to my future generations and most of all to our own true mother—something each and every one of us in here has in common. That obligation can never be surrendered. We are keepers of the land, stewards of the land. Every single thing that a human being needs to survive is here in Canada.”
For more, please read:
Beaver Lake Cree Nation website
NEWS: Beaver Lake Cree Nation pursues court challenge for damages done by the tar sands
Music for RAVEN Facebook page
UPDATE: Common Causes hosts public forum to counter Conservative convention in Calgary