VIDEO: Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Says Tar Sands Have Gone Far Enough

Following a trip to the Netherlands to speak at the Royal Dutch Shell Annual General Meeting, the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) has released a short documentary film detailing the struggle against tar sands development.

Narrated by Indigenous rights activist and ACFN communications coordinator Eriel Deranger, the film gives a brief history of the nation’s conflict with Shell Oil, including broken impact-benefit agreements dating back ten years, and residents of Fort Chipewyan explain in their own words why they fight for their land.

Yet another test of Treaty 8 and section 35 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms will come at the end of this month. Shell’s proposal to expand the Jackpine Mine in northern Alberta is currently under review with the Alberta regulatory body, the Energy Resources Conservation Board, with a decision expected by next Friday, May 31.

Since the ACFN filed its constitutional challenge against Shell in 2012, the company has also proposed a new open pit mine project, the Pierre River Mine, that will likely go under review before the end of this year.

Deranger says the time has come to draw a line in the sand. “If we don’t put our foot down somewhere, it will never stop.”

Image Credit: Creative Commons via mark(s)elliott

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Erin Flegg is a freelance writer and journalist, and her work appears in the Vancouver Observer, Xtra West and This…

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