The Fort McKay First Nation and the provincial government are working towards better protecting an area north of the community.
The two announced a three-month roadmap on Friday to approve the First Nation’s Moose Lake Plan.
Moose Lake is located 65 km northwest of Fort McKay and the plan manages access and development by protecting the area’s ecological and cultural integrity.
“After 20 years of negotiations, after 20 years in which previous governments with good intentions have fallen short, Fort McKay First Nation can see the finish line for Moose Lake,” said Chief Mel Grandjamb, in a release.
“This roadmap and commitment to finalizing Moose Lake show that responsible resource development can be a tool for reconciliation.”
The FMFN held a summit in Edmonton where government officials were invited to learn more about the plan.
Alberta’s Minister of Environment and Parks Jason Nixon and Minister of Indigenous Relations Rick Wilson were in attendance along with representatives from Imperial Oil, Syncrude, Teck Resources, and other companies.
After a plan is approved, oil development will still be allowed under appropriate conditions that reduce impacts on the ecological and cultural integrity of the traditional land.
“Like Fort McKay First Nation, we also want a responsible approach to development in the area,” added Nixon.
“Government continues to work with the community on a path forward that respects Indigenous People’s rights while supporting critical economic opportunities for the area First Nations and the province.”