Beaver Lake Identifies 16,000 infringements in Lawsuit

by May 20, 2008
 

Aiming to stop the wholesale destruction of their traditional lands, the Beaver Lake Cree Nation has launched a massive lawsuit against the Federal and Alberta governments.

Filed on May 14th, the suit identifies more than 16,000 infringements (development projects, most connected to the tar sands) that are contributing to the destruction of the environment, the loss of traditional areas, and the decline in wildlife populations within their territory. These infringements are making it impossible for the Nation to exercise their Treaty Rights.

A Beaver Lake press release (pdf) states in part,

Beaver Lake Cree Nation… has watched with growing anger and frustration as their traditional hunting, trapping and fishing lands have been rapidly destroyed by the oil and gas industry. They have seen the forests they depend on for their livelihood riddled with oil wells, criss-crossed with roads and seismic lines and emptied of wildlife. They have seen their constitutionally protected rights disregarded and the local environment degraded. And today Beaver Lake Cree Nation says “Enough!”

Beaver Lake has filed a court case aimed at halting the wholesale destruction of their traditional hunting, trapping and fishing areas.

“The Governments of Canada and Alberta have made a lot of promises to our people and we intend to see those promises kept,” said Chief Al Lameman. “Governments and industry ignore our concerns. This is our home. This is where we live. We have a responsibility to our children, and to our children’s children, to see that the lands where the Cree live, and will always live, remain inhabitable.”

This simply cannot happen if Canada and Alberta is allowed to continue playing “make believe” — which is precisely what they are doing by breaching their constitutional obligations,and threatening and infringing upon the Beaver Lake Cree… just to make a lousy buck.

Further Information

Learn about Treaty Six, or visit the Treaty Six website
Download Beaver Lake’s Statement of Claim (pdf) (8 MB in size. Includes full list of infringements)
Read the Kétuskéno Declaration (pdf) (signed on May 14)

Media Contacts

Beaver Lake Cree Nation:
Robert Gillis, Executive Director
BLCN Consultation Office
Telephone: (780) 623-9221
Facsimile: (780) 623-7164
www.beaverlakecreenation.ca

Legal Counsel:
Drew Mildon
Woodward & Company
Telephone: (250) 383-2356
Facsimile: (250) 380-6560
www.woodwardandcompany.com