The Crowd vs. Tarsands Mining in Canada

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Tarsands Mining in Canada


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The Crowd claims
Stop tarsands mining, protect the world’s most important carbon sinks and hold Canada accountable for breaking their constitutional promise to the Beaver Lake Cree Nation.

Next legal action of the crowd
Preparation for going to trial. This is scheduled around 2019. To cover the ongoing costs for this legal step in this winnable landmark case, the crowd needs US $2,000 (1.500 euro) per month.

Beaver Lake Cree Nation is accusing the governments of Canada and Alberta for breaking their treaty promises by allowing 19,000 permits for mineral developments (mostly tarsands) on their territory. In their legal challenge, the First Nation claims that the more than 19,000 fossil fuel projects in their traditional territory threaten to destroy their way of life – by polluting and fragmenting the land and water that have sustained them for centuries.

Legal Progress
Preparation for trial is moving steadily forward with the retention of several experts to produce reports ranging from socio-cultural impact assessments and ethno-historical data gathering to the effect of the mineral developments.

Case background and who The Crowd supports
In 1876, the Canadian Crown promised the First Nations, including the Beaver Lake Cree Nation, that in exchange for sharing their lands and keeping the peace, they could keep their way of life, culture and the right to “hunt, fish, trap in perpetuity”. Canada has not kept its part of the bargain by approving some 19,000 fossil fuel extraction projects which have had devastating impacts on indigenous peoples’ ability to maintain their culture and way of life. To fish or to hunt is quite difficult where the ground has been plowed under more than 30 feet. The caribou in the region are on the verge of extinction.

Tarsands mining is the most inefficient oil extraction (it requires the energy-equivalent of three barrels of oil to produce only one) and produces around five times more greenhouse gasses than normal oil extraction. The tarsands in Canada represent the largest industrial area in the world, the size of a small Switzerland. On top of that, the tarsands have already destroyed big parts of the Canadian taiga, the world’s largest boreal forest. Many scientists warn that the massive destruction by tarsands mining may irreversibly push our planet past the tipping point of climate change.

The 900 Cree people live in an area of the taiga, and their homeland is under threat on the front lines of destructive tarsands mining. In order to protect one of the world’s most important carbon sinks, with caribou habitats, and dotted with hundreds of freshwater lakes and rivers, this First Nation is in the process of taking the Canadian government and the province of Alberta to court.

RAVEN (Respecting Aboriginal Values and Environmental Needs) is the NGO/nonprofit that The Crowd Versus works together with for this case. The people of the Beaver Lake Cree Nation are supported by RAVEN, a nonprofit organization based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.


  • This is Why the Beaver Lake Cree First Nation Is Asking for a Hearing

    Posted on January 22, 2019

    This is Why the Beaver Lake Cree First Nation Is Asking for a Hearing The Beaver Lake Cree First Nation fights a monumental legal battle to end tar sands projects on their territory. It destroys their land and their way of life. On 19 February the case has an important hearing. This is what happened […]

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  • 19 February the Beaver Lake Cree First Nation Hearing

    Posted on January 17, 2019

    On February 19th the Beaver Lake Cree First Nation Receives a Hearing  – Support Them Now Beaver Lake Cree First Nation is taking on the tarsands – Canada’s fastest growing source of climate pollution. Tar sands extraction is poisoning the water, eliminates whole forests, and decimates traditional food sources for the Beaver Lake Cree people. […]

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  • RAVEN Trust Shares Some of Their Major Accomplishments

    Posted on December 13, 2018

    RAVEN Trust Shares Some of Their Major Accomplishments Last week, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley announced a cut in tar sands production. A drop in prices for dirty bitumen has been blamed on lack of pipeline capacity, which has been blamed on RAVEN Trust. Besides this, RAVEN Trust has enjoyed other major accomplishments: an overview.  RAVEN […]

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  • International Support for Tar Sands Case Makes a Real Difference

    Posted on November 2, 2018

    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 […]

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  • RAVEN Trust Webinar 6 November 2018

    Posted on November 1, 2018

    WEBINAR! LEARN CUTTING EDGE ONLINE FUNDRAISING + ORGANIZING STRATEGIES   Interested in learning more about organizing + fundraising? Join a webinar with RAVEN’s Ana Simeon and Tar Sands Trial organizer Brendan Campbell  November 6th, 4:30 P.S.T.     RSVP: RAVEN stands for Respecting Aboriginal Values and Environmental Needs. RAVEN has used state-of-the-art digital tools to amplify and […]

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  • Stand with Indigenous Peoples

    Posted on September 25, 2018

    Stand with Indigenous Peoples: donate, organize an event, or set up an online fundraiser Indigenous Nations are on a winning streak in the Canadian country’s courts.  We’ve stopped pipelines, pushed back against open pit mining and built an unprecedented alliance that is igniting all across the country. Now it’s time to tackle climate destruction at […]

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  • Beaver Lake Cree Nation running out of money to conclude 10-year legal battle

    Posted on July 1, 2018

    Judge ruled 5 years ago Beaver Lake Cree Nation’s constitutional challenge deserves trial, but no date set yet Roberta Bell · CBC News · Posted: Apr 27, 2018 6:00 AM MT | Last Updated: April 27 A Beaver Lake Cree Nation member stands by a gate on a road on traditional territory. Beaver Lake, which filed a constitutional challenge […]

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  • RAVENTrust May 2018 update on BLCN case

    Posted on June 11, 2018

    Spring has sprung, and we’re making a noise! As we move into spring, we’re reaching out to allies in all four directions to say “thank you” and to share opportunities, as we look to reach campaign milestones. Beaver Lake Cree Nation – Tar Sands Trial – Big News This is huge! Beaver Lake Cree Nation has […]

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  • First Nation Ups the Ante in TarSands Trial

    Posted on May 28, 2018

    First Nation Ups the Ante in Oil Sands Trial   Edmonton/Vancouver – The Beaver Lake Cree Nation, Treaty No. 6 is asking the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench to order Canada and Alberta to pay advance costs in a case that promises to be one of the most significant legal challenges to oil sands expansion […]

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