McKay Métis ask Supreme Court of Canada to hear appeal on Rigel Oil Sands Project
FORT MCKAY, AB, March 21, 2019 – The McKay Métis are a pro-oil sands and pro-development Métis community located in the heart of the Alberta oil sands. It benefits greatly from the economic spin-offs related to oil sands development. The goal of the community is to participate in development that is responsible and sustainable, and also to protect what little remains for their members to exercise their rights to hunt and fish, and to connect with the land.
That is why the McKay Métis have taken the extraordinary step of asking the Supreme Court of Canada to hear an appeal of the Rigel oil sands project in a case that was filed this week. The Alberta Energy Regulator approved the project owned by Prosper Petroleum Ltd. This project would see the development of oil sands extraction in the Moose Lake Area, one of the few spaces of relative wilderness where McKay Métis members seek refuge from the intense development in the Hamlet of Fort McKay. The Moose Lake Area is central to the history and culture of Indigenous communities in Fort McKay.
Ron Quintal is President of the McKay Métis. Speaking to the filing he noted, “the Moose Lake Area is one of the last areas of untouched wilderness where my people have for generations hunted, trapped and fished year-round to feed ourselves, nourish our culture and traditions and preserve our history. I cannot stress enough the importance of this area to us. We have for years worked hand-in-hand with the energy sector to develop the oil sands responsibly, but with the understanding that the Moose Lake Area must not be threatened. We do not consent to a project that we know could have negative effects on our rights and the environment in this area. This is a line in the sand for us. And I think all reasonable Albertans would agree that while developing our resource is critical, there needs to be limits on development near sensitive areas. With Moose Lake, we are setting our limit.”
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