Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation and the Tar Sands

Updates and info on ACFN's case against Shell Oil

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation files constitutional challenge to Shell Oil Canada’s Tar Sands expansion application

Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation files constitutional challenge to Shell Oil Canada’s Tar Sands expansion application

Fort McMurray, AB October 1, 2012 – Today the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation filed a constitutional challenge in the Joint Review process against Shell Oil Canada’s application for the expansion of their Jackpine Mine tar sands project. ACFN’s challenge outlines the government’s failure to uphold Treaty 8, and to force better protection of the resources needed to sustain rights protected under Treaty 8.  A constitutional challenge based on Treaty 8 rights has never been fully argued in front of an Alberta Joint Review panel and the first nation hopes to set new precedents that may mean changes to the regulatory process.

“We have repeatedly tried to engage with both the government and Shell to find better way to address our rights,” stated Chief Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation. “However, the government has not listened to us or made meaningful attempts to accommodate the ACFN in relation to the impacts of this and other tar sands projects.  They have failed to accurately inform themselves of what our people truly require in order to protect our lands and rights.”

The Jackpine Mine expansion application is scheduled to appear before the Joint Review Panel starting Oct. 29 in Fort McMurray, Alberta. However, the Panel is required to hear constitutional challenges on October 23rd before the full public hearings.  The proposed application would require the disturbance of 12,719 ha of land  and destroy 21 kilometres of the Muskeg River, a culturally significant river.  Greenhouse gas emissions from the Jackpine expansion will total 2.36 Mt CO2e/year, representing an increase of 5.2% in oil sands emissions (based on 2009) or approximately 281,000 cars on the road.

The ACFN is hoping this constitutional challenge will clearly demonstrate the severe adverse impacts on their Treaty 8 rights due to tar sands development in northern Alberta. The ACFN asserts that government action is leading to the removal of ACFN’s ability to meaningfully exercise their Treaty 8 rights within their traditional territory.

“Our community and our leadership at ACFN are taking the steps to slow down development in Northern Alberta in order to ensure our rights and lands are protected now and into the future,” stated Eriel Deranger communications coordinator for the ACFN.  “As Denesuline people, it is our responsibility to protect our lands, our rights and all that mother earth provides for our people. We hope people will support us as we put forward ground breaking challenges in Alberta.”


For More Information:
Chief Allan Adam, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation 780-713-1220
Eriel Deranger, Communication Coordinator ACFN 780-903-6598



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11 thoughts on “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation files constitutional challenge to Shell Oil Canada’s Tar Sands expansion application

  1. Ingeborg Jubelius on said:

    I am for the constitutional challenge against Shell!

  2. Andrew Phillips on said:

    No expansion of Shell’s tar sands project without free, informed, prior consent of the indigenous peoples affected!

  3. Pingback: Scaling Green » Blog Archive » Five Energy Stories Worth Reading Today (10/3/12)

  4. Pingback: First Nation Draws a Line in the Tarsands « Father Theo's Blog

  5. Vickers Vickers on said:

    Is time to ween the industry and Canada off of First Peoples resources!

  6. Allan Slater on said:

    As each day passes the struggles of indigenous people for recognition of their rights affect all of us. Our earth is being destroyed by greedy oil companies and the politicians who let them away with it.

  7. Janie Collins on said:

    I have tried multiple ways to get the hyperlink to the part of the website that allows protesters to write to the CEO of Shell. The site says that that the site has exceeded its allocated quota. There is nothing that gives an address for a letter to be sent to Shell.

    I signed up for the Defend our Coast demonstration in Victoria this past Monday, and am committed to do whatever I can to stop expansion of the tar sands. I just wanted to make you aware of the website problems.

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  10. Pingback: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: ACFN disappointed by JRP’s initial approval of Shell tar sands mine expansion; expects mitigation and accommodation to be in place prior to further approvals for the expansion | Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation and the Tar Sands

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