June 17, 2013
Minister Joe Oliver and Premier Redford Invited to Join More than 500 Residents and Concerned Citizens From Across Canada, US
FORT MCMURRAY, ALBERTA-
Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Fort Chipewyan First Nation has issued a formal request to Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver and Alberta Premier Allison Redford to join the fourth annual Tar Sands Healing Walk in Fort McMurray on July 6. A fourteen-kilometre, day-long journey, hosted by the Keepers of the Athabasca, the Healing Walk is a spiritual gathering focused on healing the traditional territory of the nations that has been impacted by tar sands expansion.
“We believe that our politicians are out of touch and have no idea what it is like to live day-to-day in a place that has been made toxic by out of control tar sands development. It is important for them to experience this place, to drink the water, breathe the air and hear from the people who are quickly losing hope for a livable future for their children and grandchildren,” said Chief Adam. “On behalf of our nation and the more than five hundred others who will join us on this journey, we invite Minister Oliver and Premier Redford to walk alongside us.”
To encourage participation by the politicians, the nation has also issued a formal petition, which to date has already gathered close to 7000 signatures. The petition can be found on the Healing Walk website at http://www.healingwalk.org/helpfromhome
Hundreds of participants from across Canada and the US have registered to attend the walk and many will be making their own pilgrimages both before and after the event to raise continued awareness of the impact expansion is having not only in Alberta but in other provinces and in states that are facing proposed oil and gas infrastructure development. Saskatoon’s Dion Tootoosis of the Poundmaker Cree will ride a bicycle from Halifax to Fort McMurray sharing his hope for a sustainable future, and a group from the US will undertake a Compassionate Walk along the Keystone XL pipeline route from Alberta to Nebraska to encourage care and respect for the earth after participating in the Healing Walk.
Award winning journalist and author Naomi Klein will also join the Healing Walk. “Canada’s dependence on dirty oil money is sickening our country in countless ways. Not only is the land itself being poisoned, alongside the people who depend on that land, but the tar sands boom is poisoning our collective political culture as well,” she said. “It is being poisoned by escalating attacks on First Nations rights, by the dismantling of crucial environmental protections, and by the gagging of scientists whose findings are inconvenient to the quest for ever more extraction. I am participating in this sacred walk because it invites us all to begin a process of healing — healing the land from violence, healing ourselves from our dependence on an economy based on that violence, and healing our deeply imperiled democracy.”
More information about the Healing Walk and to register to participate, visit the website at www.healingwalk.org
To view the photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20130617-Chief_Allan_Adam_800.jpg
Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation
ACFN Indigenous people living downstream from the tar sands explain in their own words why they are saying enough is enough.
Shell Canada is proposing two new tar sands mine projects in northern Alberta, Canada. From the perspective of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nations (ACFN), whose lands will be affected by both Shell mines, governments are not fulfilling the promises of Treaty 8. This has led them to file a challenge to the Jackpine Mine proposal under section 35 of the Canadian Constitution.
Producer/Directors: Eriel Deranger and Melina Laboucan-Massimo
Videographers: Eagle Claw Thom & Zack Embree
Music: Meander River Dene Drummers
Recorded and engineered by: Taro Hashimoto & Curtis Cardinal
May 1st, Fort McMurray, AB- The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) is calling for the removal of Gerry Protti as Chair of the Alberta Energy Regulator. ACFN joined by non-governmental organizations, and special interest groups that have serious concerns with conflict of interest regarding Mr. Protti’s appointment.
For many First Nations this appointment is insult to injury especially those that have been pushing on the Alberta government to strengthen their engagement with First Nations in relation to energy and resource development with little success. Mr. Protti has a long industry history as one of the founders of the Canadian Association for Petroleum Producers, was an executive for Encana, and is a lobbyist for the Energy Policy Institute of Canada. We question his ability to chair the Alberta Energy Regulator with transparency and accountability.
“Where is the justice for our communities?” stated Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation. “Our community has been raising serious questions about the provinces environmental standards and monitoring. We have repeatedly demanded more meaningful participation in the development of the provinces new environmental monitoring projects. Instead of better engagement they appoint the former founder of CAPP as the Chair of the new Alberta Energy Regulator? This is unacceptable and insulting.”
This appointment comes also with the Alberta government also announcement of it’s Corporate Guidelines for First Nations Consultation Activities, 2013 giving industry the upper hand and failing to meet First Nations expectations. The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation has join in with the many groups that are outraged with this announcement and questioning provincial leaders interests.
“We are calling for the resignation of Gerri Protti as the Chair of the Alberta Energy Regulator. How can Gerri Protti be diligent to First Nations concerns and uphold treaty rights when he clearly has no previous experience engaging First Nations and still has such strong industry ties.” said Eriel Deranger, ACFN Communications. “Clearly the Government of Alberta has sent a strong message to First Nations of whose interests are important in this province by appointing an industry leader and setting the stage with the release of its new corporate guidelines for First Nations Consultation Activities.”
The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation has long been a leader in elevating Treaty rights and First Nations concerns regarding development in Alberta.
For more information:
Chief Allan Adam, ACFN 780-713-1220
Eriel Deranger, Communications Coordinator ACFN 780-903-6598