Fort McKay First Nations asks Alberta government to endorse plan at the Moose Lake Together Summit
The plan supports responsible development that respects Treaty rights
Fort McKay First Nation leaders have announced details for the Moose Lake Together Summit and confirmed government and leaseholder attendees. Fort McKay is asking the Government of Alberta to endorse the Moose Lake Plan at the Summit, which supports responsible development that respects Treaty rights and protects the ecological and cultural integrity of the Moose Lake area sacred to Fort McKay.
Stakeholders will convene at the Edmonton Convention Centre on Friday, January 31, 2020, to review the final working draft of the Moose Lake Plan. Confirmed attendees include Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations, along with representatives from PetroChina, Sunshine Oilsands, Athabasca Oil, Chevron Canada, Teck, Alberta Pacific Forest Industries, and Northland Forest Products. Fort McKay also invited representatives from Prosper Petroleum, as well as Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks, Sonya Savage, Minister of Energy, and Jason Kenney, Premier of Alberta.
The morning program at this capstone event includes a panel session and Q&A with experts on the latest draft of the Moose Lake Plan, an exploration of issues with area leaseholders, and a closing press conference on outcomes and next steps.
Alberta released a draft plan in February 2018 to which industry responded with concerns. The government and Fort McKay staff worked for eight months to revise the plan to address those concerns. The previous government ceased work on the project and the revisions were not shared with industry.
In late October 2019, Fort McKay First Nation argued before the Alberta Court of Appeal to have the Alberta Energy Regulator's 2018 approval of Prosper's Rigel Project at Moose Lake overturned in order to protect the community's Treaty rights. The court has yet to release its decision.
"Our position remains the same. We hope the Alberta government will approve the Moose Lake Plan and support responsible development while protecting the place where our ancestors lived for thousands of years. This is the last place we can meaningfully pass down to our children and grandchildren the traditions of our culture," says Chief Grandjamb of the Fort McKay First Nation.
In November 2019, the Chiefs of the Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta unanimously adopted a resolution to support the Fort McKay First Nation and its efforts to protect Moose Lake as an essential means of "protecting and preserving their ways of life, their ways of being, and their inherent rights."