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First Nations

First Nation Sues Alberta Energy Regulator Over Tailings Pond Spill

A northern Alberta Indigenous community is suing the Alberta Energy Regulator for the effects of an ongoing environmental disaster at an Imperial Oil tar sands mine. Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) Chief Allan Adam served the CEO of the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) with a statement of claim indicating his community intends to hold the regulator legally responsible for the aftereffects of the Kearl mine disaster that began in 2022. Chief Adam hand delivered the lawsuit to CEO Laurie Pushor during an AER townhall meeting in Fort Chipewyan on Tuesday March 5.

First Nations Say They’re Not Wildfire Evacuees, But Climate Refugees

Indigenous peoples are disproportionately affected by wildfire evacuations and thousands of these evacuees have been displaced for the long term, like Michell and his family. Indigenous peoples make up five per cent of Canada’s population but experience 42 per cent of wildfire evacuation events, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. This year, 25,000 people from 79 First Nations have had to leave home because of wildfires, Indigenous Services Canada told The Breach by email. In the past decade, 70,824 First Nations people have been evacuated from their communities because of wildfires, the department’s data shows.

First Nations At The Frontline Of Canada’s Fires

As he watched the last plane lumber down the runway, Chief Allan Adam was finally able to breathe freely again.  He had just posted a live video from the Fort Chipewyan airport on the evening of May 31, documenting the last flight out with evacuees fleeing impending disaster. A wildfire was advancing approximately seven kilometres from his remote community, which is accessible only by boat or plane. But the relief was short-lived. The straight-shooting leader of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, one of three Indigenous communities in Alberta who call Fort Chipewyan home, was abruptly hit with biting pain.

Oil Company Gave $200k To Group Accusing Pipeline Opponents Of Taking Secret Money

A First Nations advocacy group whose leader has accused pipeline protesters of being beholden to hidden financial interests has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from one of Canada’s top oil and gas producers, newly reviewed corporate documents reveal. Stephen Buffalo, CEO of the Alberta-based Indian Resource Council, is one of the most outspoken Indigenous voices in favor of oil and gas expansion, testifying several times to Canada’s federal government and appearing frequently in mainstream media outlets. On multiple occasions he’s used his platform to attack the credibility of First Nations people and environmentalists who oppose new oil and gas development, alleging they are being controlled by secretive funders and one time asking “who’s really pulling the string here?”

How Tribes Of The North Are Taking Climate Matters Into Their Own Hands

It can be difficult to understand the true impacts of climate change when you are not directly facing its harsh effects. We see that communities in different regions and terrains around the world are experiencing different rates of global warming with different consequences. We also know that the Arctic, in particular, is experiencing climate change more rapidly and more severely than other parts of the world. In order to understand the diverse impact climate change has on different communities, it is also important to understand what community-based solutions are in place for adaptation and mitigation of climate change.

Why We Must Do More To Recognize The Application Of Indigenous Law

In the Supreme Court of Canada’s 1996 decision in R v Van Der Peet, Justice Beverley McLachlin[1] famously made reference to a “golden thread”:  The history of the interface of Europeans and the common law with aboriginal peoples is a long one. As might be expected of such a long history, the principles by which the interface has been governed have not always been consistently applied. Yet running through this history, from its earliest beginnings to the present time is a golden thread – the recognition by the common law of the ancestral laws and customs of the aboriginal peoples who occupied the land prior to European settlement. For Wet’suwet’en people reading the BC Supreme Court’s December 31, 2019 decision in Coastal GasLink Pipeline Ltd v Huson, it may have seemed more like an “invisible thread.”

Battle Brewing In Canada Over Rights Of Indigenous Peoples

Non-Indigenous opponents fear it would give First Nations, Inuit and Metis too much power. Indigenous opponents fear it won’t give them enough. Supporters tout it as a leap forward on rights, title and reconciliation. Detractors say it strengthens the shackles of the colonial status quo. A battle is brewing over UNDRIP in and outside the halls of power – and a whole lot remains unclear. “As with any law, there’s unknowns,” said professor and legal scholar John Borrows, reached by phone a day after Justice Minister David Lametti tabled Bill C-15 in the House of Commons. “There’s unknowns with our Constitution. There’s unknowns with UNDRIP. But the fact that this has got a process to work through those unknowns is better than the free for all we have right now.”

First Nation Chief Tells Mayors To Butt Out

A Vancouver Island First Nation chief schooled four North Island mayors on how Aboriginal Rights work in response to them asking to be let in on Discovery Island fish farm consultations with the federal government. Last month in a letter addressed to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Bernadette Jordan, mayors of Campbell River, Port Hardy, Port McNeill and Gold River asked to be a part of the ongoing consultation process between the minister’s office and seven First Nations with regards to the transitional plight of 18 fish farms in the Discovery Islands.

Mi’kmaq First Nations Coalition Takes Control Of Major Seafood Company

In a joint statement released by Mi’kmaq Coalition and Premium Brands, the purchase of Clearwater Seafood is being called the single largest investment by Indigenous group. The Halifax-based Clearwater Seafoods was purchased by Premium Brands of British Columiba and a coaltion of Mi’kaw First Nations. The billion-dollar deal was announced on Monday, November 9, 2020. The Mi’kmaq Coalition is a new legal entity formed for the purpose of this investment in Clearwater. The Mi’kmaq Coalition is owned collectively by participating Mi’kmaq First Nations in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

First Nations Leaders Speak Out Against Canada’s Trans Mountain Pipeline Approval

Kinder-Morgan’s application for approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion (TMX) has been bouncing around in Canada’s federal courts like a pinball since 2013. First Nations tribes and environmental groups have valiantly worked the flippers of the judicial pinball machine for years, filing lawsuits and appeals, to keep that shiny ball from rolling down the drain of approval. But on July 2, down it went when the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) denied three First Nations leave to appeal the decision of a lower court.

First Nations In Canada And US Sign Treaty Opposing Pipelines

By Derrick Broze for Activist Post. Indigenous nations from Canada and the United States have signed a treaty agreeing to oppose future proposals for pipeline, rail, and tanker projects that attempt to carry crude oil from Alberta’s oil sands. On Thursday, tribes from Canada and the northern United States signed a treating declaring their opposition to future proposals for pipelines that would carry crude oil from Alberta to other locations across Canada and the United States. The tribal nations are opposed to the pipelines based on potential threats to the environment. The Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion was signed by 50 aboriginal groups in North America, who also plan to oppose tanker and rail projects in both countries, they said in a statement. Targets include projects proposed by Kinder Morgan Inc, TransCanada Corp and Enbridge Inc.

Vowed Summer Of Action Against Trans Mountain Pipeline

By Ron Johnson for Earth Island Journal - Environment and Indigenous rights organizations are indicating it’s going to be a long, hot summer of civil disobedience in British Columbia following a National Energy Board report released last week recommending conditional approval of Kinder Morgan’s $5.4 billion Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project that allow for the transport of nearly a million barrels of bitumen per day from Alberta’s tar sands oil mines...

Blockade Remains As Hydro CEO, Band Talk

By Randy Turner for Winnipeg Free Speech - A blockade to three Manitoba Hydro sites in northern Manitoba by the Fox Lake Cree Nation was still in effect early Friday evening as negotiations continued between band members and Hydro CEO Kelvin Shepherd. Fox Lake Cree Nation Chief Walter Spence said talks with Shepherd had been on-going since 10:30 a.m. and would probably last until at least 10 p.m. Friday.

Targeting Trudeau’s Climate Plan With Indigenous Action

By Eriel Deranger for National Observer - UNDRIP is an international declaration that is built on a premise of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). Or, more plainly, Indigenous rights to not just participate in decision making processes but the right to say "no." This position is in addition to the already existing fiduciary and legal obligation of the federal government to ensure adequate and meaningful consultation occurs with respect to any laws, legislation and land management that may affect our inherent and treaty rights in the country.

Mohawks Threaten To Block Energy East

By Philip Authier for Montreal Gazette - The Mohawk nation is threatening to do everything legally in its power to block the Energy East pipeline project, calling it a threat to their way of life. Despite perceptions opposition to the project is harboured mainly by mayors in Quebec, a Mohawk-driven Canadian First Nations movement against the project is picking up steam in other parts of the country. Besides the official opposition of the Assembly of First Nations Quebec and Labrador representing 43 Quebec chiefs, the list against TransCanada’s pipeline now includes the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs...
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