Support the Beaver Lake Cree Nation’s fight against Tar Sands
The Beaver Lake Cree Nation is fighting back against the Alberta tar sands. The Nation is taking legal action against Alberta and Canada to stop these developments from taking place and to protect their land and their people from exploitation. At the helm of this challenge is Crystal Lameman, a young woman of the Beaver Lake Cree Nation who spoke with the Nobel Women’s Initiative Breaking Ground delegation in October. Crystal spends most of her time speaking out about the damage the oil sands are causing in her community and trying to hold the Government of Canada accountable.
According to RAVEN (Respecting Aboriginal Values & Environmental Needs), the Cree ancestors signed Treaty 6 in 1876. As part of the Treaty, they were guaranteed the right to hunt and fish. This condition is one that the Beaver Lake Cree Nation says is not being met. On the contrary, their habitat is being destroyed by the oil industry.
The environmental laws that protect the land of the Beaver Lake Cree Nation are strong. The law is on the side of the Beaver Lake Cree Nation. These laws remain in place despite the Canadian government’s attempt to erode all other environmental laws.
Yet, for this small nation of about 900, their access to justice is threatened by their lack of funds. The high cost of the legal system hinders the Beaver Lake Cree Nation from achieving victory, especially when fighting against the wealth of the Canadian Government. Canada and Alberta do not want to lose this case, and they are creating roadblocks wherever possible.
The Beaver Lake Cree are not alone in their fight to protect their land. There are many others who see the massive destruction of Alberta land as deliberate destruction of the environment and those who fear that the emissions released by the oil sands will cause irreversible damage to the climate for future generations.
Court Allows Beaver Lake Cree to Challenge Tar Sands, Watershed Sentinel, 29 March 2012.
Crystal Lameman Presentation (video), PowerShift Canada 2012, 4 Nov 2012.
Finally! A win for the Beaver Lake Cree – their case WILL go to trial!, RAVEN, 29 March 2012.
Women are knocking it out of the park for the Beaver Lake Cree!, RAVEN, 17 Oct 2012.
Write to a provincial or federal government official & ask them to STOP tar sands expansion!