Alberta’s Environmental Issues

I am toying with two potential areas of research, one of which is the complexities presented when trying to find balance between modern environmental issues and indigenous traditions.  After reading about the struggles that surface during traditional whale hunting practices, I began to wonder what issues are present in good old, land locked, Alberta.

The issues surfacing are a bit different.  Instead of traditional practices conflicting with modern animal rights issues, Albertans are facing conflict related to the oil industry – Northern Alberta is “ground zero” for the Tar Sands Gigaproject, in which more than 20 companies are currently operating.  The Mikisew Cree First National, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Fort McKay Cree Nation, Beaker Lake Cree First Nation Chipewyan Prairie First Nation, and the Metis are facing destruction of land, ecosystems, cultural heritage and community health.

Canadian Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign

When I was feeling overwhelmed by the negative impact of the Tar Sands, I checked out the other side of the issue, visiting the Alberta Government’s web site.  Alberta’s First Nations Consultation Policy on Land Management and Resource Development is working to balance resource development and Treaty rights, using feedback from First Nations, “providing a voice for Aboriginal people in the province’s regional land use planning”.

Alberta’s Oil Sands (Government Web Site)

Other Sites I found:

Turtle Island Native Network

Rights of Mother Earth: Restoring Indigenous Life Ways of Responsibility and Respect

Tar Sands Action


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