The Fort McKay Métis aren’t supporting a proposed oil project that would impact their traditional land.
The ‘Alberta to Alaska Railway’ is currently being designed to transport oil from Northern Alberta to the tidewaters of Alaska, much like the Trans Mountain Pipeline.
The idea is to also work with Indigenous communities to design, build, and operate it.
“We’ve seen some projections of where they would like the railway to go and it goes directly through our territory,” said Ron Quintal, President of McKay Métis.
The railway would also go through Fort McMurray and Fort Chipewyan.
Quintal tells Mix News they’re concerned about the transportation method.
“Railcars hauling oil, the track record in Canada and the United States isn’t the greatest, so, from our perspective, it’s something we’re not at all supportive of.”
He notes the community isn’t pro-pipeline, however, in this case, it may be the safest option.
“We’re pretty much in favor of discussing transportation corridors but more so with pipeline variety if we can. Pipeline is the safest way to transport the product.”
There’s also concern about how the McKay Métis discovered the project.
Quintal says the Métis Nation of Alberta was the main point of contact instead of them. This was one of the main reasons they’ve since looked into filing a court injunction against the MNA.
He adds they are more than happy to discuss the project but at this time they can’t support it.