The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation filled documents asking the Federal Court to overturn the approval of the Jackpine oil sands expansion Jan 9.
The aboriginal band, from northern Alberta, says the project will violate a number of federal laws including laws protecting at risk species. Additionally the band says it was not adequately consulted about the expansion, a legal requirement for the government.
The proposed expansion to Shell’s Jackpine oil sands would occur north of Fort McMurray, the heart of Alberta’s oil sands.
This is not the only lawsuit against the federal and provincial government by a First Nations band. Currently 17 First Nations in Alberta are attempting to have current legislation on access to public lands thrown out. Other First Nations currently involved in lawsuits with the government are:
- The Fort McKay First Nation
- The Mikisew Cree First Nation
- Frog Lake First Nation
- The Beaver Lake Cree First Nation
- Lubicon Cree First Nation
Neil Young, who made headlines for his controversial remarks about the oilsands recently, is currently playing across Canada on his Honour the Treaties tour. Over the past five years the Chipewyan band has spent over $2 million on legal fees. Young’s tour aims to raise money and awareness for the Chipewyan band’s lawsuit.
Young made headlines recently with his remarks comparing the Jackpine oil sands expansion to the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima. These comments have drawn international criticism, most recently from the president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Dave Collyer. Collyer said that Young’s statement was irresponsible and do a disservice to the Aboriginals he’s trying to help.