International Support for Tarsands Case Makes a Real Difference
Your active support for the Beaver Lake Cree First Nation helps their monumental lawsuit against the governments of Canada and Alberta. The Beaver Lake Cree aim to stop the permitting of tar sands mining on their territory. Their original Treaty 6 rights endow them with the ‘right to hunt, fish, and forage in perpetuity’ on their territories. The mining permits now limit these activities.
Ron Lameman (Beaver Lake Cree Nation) explains why international support makes a difference.
Destroying the lands, rights and way of life
Treaties represent living agreements between First Nations and the Canadian Crown. All Canadians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, are therefore Treaty people. Treaty rights of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada are affirmed and recognized as central to Canada’s very existence as a nation by the Constitution Act, 1982.
Yet despite these lofty commitments, Canada continues to turn treaty lands, like Beaver Lake Cree’s territory, into sacrifice zones. Beaver Lake Cree lands, waters and resources have become inaccessible and unusable for the exercise of the nation’s rights under Treaty 6.
The Supreme Court of Canada has said that although the Crown has a right to authorize land use, there may come a time when too much Crown-authorized land use renders Treaty rights meaningless. The Beaver Lake Cree First Nation has committed through its lawsuit to halt the destruction before it reaches that point. This is what the Tar Sands Trial is all about.
Mobilize international support
Ron Lameman, Director of Justice & Legal Affairs of the Beaver Lake Cree First Nation, argues that international effort and support for this case make a huge difference.
“We’re very pleased to see efforts in Europe to support the Beaver Lake Cree case against the tar sands. The Crowd Versus is doing important work to mobilize international support for this case and other Indigenous causes worldwide” – Ron Lameman, Beaver Lake Cree Nation.
Since the start of the case, Canada and Alberta have tried to delay the trial. So Cole and the Beaver Lake Cree First Nation have asked the court to award them a portion of trial costs in advance (the Amended Amended Statement of Claim). They base their claim on the precedent-setting nature of the tar sands case. The hearing on this motion will be heard in February, 2019. If this motion succeeds, the Beaver Lake Cree can obtain a court order that the federal and provincial governments pay for the costs of the litigation in advance. This will dramatically accelerate trial preparation. Eliminating delays protects the undeveloped lands .
In preparation of the hearing and trial, the Beaver Lake Cree are currently gathering videos as evidence from band members about traditional land use in tar sands-impacted lands. These include hunting, fishing, and foraging based on the Beaver Lake Cree traditional seasonal rounds. They have authorized expert reports on the cumulative effects of land and water pollution and habitat fragmentation caused by the tar sands mining to use as evidence.
The Crowd Versus will update you on the outcome of the hearing in February 2019.
Tweet this: Help a strong and courageous First Nation to #StopTarsandsMining in court: a gamechanger for #ClimateAction, #cdnpoli, #indigenousrights and for all of us. @RAVENTrust @TheCrowdVersus
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This link http://bit.ly/BeaverLakeCreeFirstNation may be used to save room; it leads directly to the landing page for the Beaver Lake Cree First Nation crowdfunding case at www.thecrowdversus.org.
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