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UPDATE: Lethbridge chapter supports Blood Tribe members call for fracking moratorium

Intercontinental Cry reports that, “Members of the Blood Tribe (notably Protect Blood Land, a new grassroots effort led by concerned Blood members) have started calling for a moratorium on the controversial extraction process (of fracking) within their own reserve in southern Alberta.” The Kainai Nation – called the Blood Tribe “by European traders for their use of red ochre” – is located west of Lethbridge and approximately 200 kilometres south of Calgary. The Council of Canadians Lethbridge chapter has been supportive of the effort by Blood Tribe members to stop fracking on Kainai Nation lands and on the Oldman River Watershed.

“In late 2010, Kainaiwa Resources Inc. (KRI), a company that’s solely owned by the Blood Tribe, quietly signed off on a deal with the Calgary-based junior mining company Bowood Energy and the U.S. company Murphy Oil. …In exchange for the $50 Million, Bowood Energy and Murphy Oil gained a five-year lease to roughly 129,280 acres, almost half of the Blood’s reserve, for oil and gas exploration. During that time, the two companies will be allowed to use hydro fracking on no fewer than 16 drill sites on the reserve. …The biggest concern for the Blood (is) ‘the toxic nature of the drilling and its capacity to do irreversible damage to the land and water on the Blood Reserve and surrounding areas,’ says Protect Blood Land.”

“In addition to the risks and limited benefits, Blood members are also concerned about the actual agreement and the conditions under which it was signed. According to Protect Blood Land, no one from the reserve was consulted before it was finalized. As well, ‘KRI and the Blood Tribe Chief and Council neglected to maintain any degree of transparency during and after the negotiations–ultimately, leaving a large population of tribe members completely unaware of the situation until after the deal was made,’ says Protect Blood Land.”

“For these reasons, Protect Blood Land has set up a petition for anyone living on the reserve and the surrounding Oldman Watershed that wishes to object to the agreements and urge a moratorium on all planned oil and gas exploration until a referendum has taken place on the Reserve.”

The Oldman Watershed Council’s website notes that, “The Oldman River Watershed is located  in the southwest corner of Southern Alberta. Its boundaries reach west along the border of British Columbia, north of High River, stretching east of Taber, and reaching across the 49th parallel into the Montana, USA. The size of the watershed is approximately 25000 km2 and covers high alpine landscapes, rolling foothills, lush native grasslands, and productive agricultural land.  There is one city, Lethbridge,  in the watershed, and several towns and hamlets that are home to approximately 200,000 people.”

The petition for Blood Tribe members and Oldman Watershed residents is at A second petition for “for anyone else that wishes to stand in solidarity with all Blood members opposed to fracking on their land” is at