So as we are full swing into 2013 the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation is patiently awaiting word on a few developments.
- Shell Jackpine Mine Decision: ACFN, along with other intervenor for the Shell Jackpine Mine Expansion application are expecting to hear back from the ERCB/Joint Review Panel on the decision of the application of Shell Oil Canada. The ERCB was originally to give response in February but requested extra time to review all evidence brought before the review panel, stating that the evidence brought forward by the First Nations was lengthy and they had much to consider.
- Shell AGM: ACFN is preparing for travel to attend the Shell Annual General Shareholders Meeting in the Hauge, Netherlands where we will take our concerns before the shareholder and executives of Shell Oil. However, ACFN and other Indigenous delegates NEED YOUR HELP in order to get there this year. We are fundraising to send a delegation and you can find out how you can help by clicking here.
- Supreme Court of Canada: ACFN submitted a leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada in conjunction the ERCB decision to not hear ACFN constitutional challenge of the adequacy of consultation. We submitted in early January and we should have word back sometime this month. Once we know more we will let you all know how you can help support us in a new pending legal strategy.
- Legal Suit against Shell Oil Canada: ACFN’s legal and Shell’s legal counsels are still both engaged in what is known as the discoveries mode. We are expecting a court appearance sometime this year and will keep you all informed if there are any new developments.
- Caribou: ACFN had a cameo on the Nature of Things with David Suzuki: Billion Dollar Caribou and we are now forging ahead looking for new and innovative ways to implement our strategy for the full protection of both Caribou and Bison in our traditional territory. For a refresher take a look at our strategy plan here.
We are expecting to hear more about Shell’s application to build the Pierre River Mine project north of the Firebag river directly in ACFN’s identified traditional lands protection zone. We have taken the guidance of our Elders to do all that we can to protect ACFN traditional lands north of what is known as the Firebag river. In 2008 ACFN Elders created a resolution to help guide our leaders to protect our lands and culture by creating clear cut protection zones in our traditional land use areas. ACFN conducted extensive research with our Elders and people to identify maps to identify these areas.
Below is a map from our Caribou and Bison stewardship plan that clearly marks our protection zones :
The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation would like to thank everyone for their continued support. We are looking forward to the coming challenges this year and hope we can continue to count on you all for support and solidarity.