Saturday, June 28
Sunday, June 29
Most Canadians think human rights violations are happening in other countries. Few understand that there atrocities are happening here. In the tar sands. Rapid tar sands development has resulted in devastating impacts to First Nations and undermined their right to clean air, clean water, and the rights protected by the Canadian Constitution.
In northern Alberta, local Aboriginal communities are forced to endure highly degraded air and water quality. Eighty per cent of the traditional territory of the Mikisew Cree and Athabasca Chipewyan First Nations has been rendered inaccessible for most of the year by tar sands development, and the Beaver Lake Cree have documented 20,000 treaty rights violations.
The expansion of tar sands refineries has also increased toxic pollution in numerous communities in Canada and the U.S., and pipeline companies have used eminent domain to confiscate private property from ranchers and landowners as they ram new pipelines through.
The Beaver Lake Cree have filed a constitutional challenge to oil sands expansion based on the 1982 Constitution and recent Canadian court precedents, arguing that the cumulative impacts of development within the band’s core territory will leave them with no meaningful way to exercise their constitutionally-guaranteed treaty rights.
Under Treaty 6, the Beaver Lake Cree are guaranteed the right to hunt, trap and fish on their traditional lands in perpetuity. The oil sands developments threaten their traditional way of life by destroying the very habitat upon which the animals and fish depend.
For more information on human rights issues related to the tar sands, visit: Oil Sands Reality Check