One First Nation is calling on the provincial government to do more to help protect their land and rights.
Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Chief Allan Adam spoke at the inquiry for Teck’s Frontier Oilsands project on Monday where he voiced his displeasure of the lack of progress for recommendations coming from past public hearings.
According to Adam, there were 88 recommendations that came from the joint panel looking into Shell’s Jackpine Mine Expansion Project, however, none have been completed.
He tells Mix News he believes no more licenses should be handed out until the already outlined issues are dealt with.
“We’re telling you, you have to go back and fix those problems and work at this one at the same time to accommodate, to compensate ACFN.”
Adam understands this government wasn’t in power during the hearing, however, they’ve still done nothing to follow through.
Some of the recommendations include recognizing their authority as stewards of their territorial lands, implementing government revenue-sharing with them, and giving them their home back at the south shore of Lake Athabasca.
The lack of progress was the also the reason why ACFN signed an agreement with Teck.
“In the agreement, we’re in charge of our own destiny, so we take care of everything,” added Adam. “There are environmental issues that we’re going to be taking care of but they extend a lot further and that’s where the Alberta Government has to step up to the plate.”
The oil giant has already committed around $24 million worth of contracts to First Nation and Métis companies and plans to hire Indigenous workers throughout the RMWB, including fly-in workers from Fort Chipewyan.
Along with proper consultation, Adam says this has led them to have a ‘positive relationship’ with Teck.
Meanwhile, ACFN is hoping for some changes in the future when it comes to these oil processes.
Adam says he feels bad for the panel as it seems like a waste of time for them as their recommendations may not be followed.
He feels the best course of action moving forward is to have the provincial government meet fact-to-face with the impacted groups.
“We can’t just continue to voice our concerns, we have to sit down at a table and agree to things, that’s why we agreed to work with Teck.”
Moving forward, the goal is to see the province let the federal government have a greater presence in regulating oilsands projects and managing the Athabasca River and to take recommendations from these panels seriously.