Beaver Lake Cree oilsands suit

The Beaver Lake Cree Nation is located 240 km northeast of Edmonton. The nation is suing the governments of Alberta and Canada over the oilsands development on the nation's traditional hunting and fishing grounds.

The Cooperative Group, which is a financial services company based in Manchester, England are providing financial support for this lawsuit. The issue has drawn the attention of the BBC and print journalists from the U.K.

Treaty 6 was signed 133 years ago. Part of the treaty was that the bank was given reserve land and the right to hunt and fish in perpetuity on certain land, this territory being their traditional hunting grounds. The proposed 17,000 approved oilsands projects are on that hunting and fishing grounds. The lawsuit is based on this project violates their treaty rights for the hunting and fishing of the band and the bands future generations.

The Alberta government lawyers have filed a pre-trial motion which dismissed the lawsuit as frivolous. The government of Canada has yet to make comment on the case.

How did the Co-operative Group from the U.K. get involved? It is part of a campaign called "Toxic Fuels". The World Wildlife Fund is also involved in this campaign.

We will report on further developments as the information becomes available.