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From Homelands to Oil Sands: The impact of oil and gas development on the Lubicon Cree

    Lubicon Cree settlement of Little Buffalo, northern Alberta. Dietlind Bork/Amnesty International
    Lubicon Cree settlement of Little Buffalo, northern Alberta. Dietlind Bork/Amnesty International
    June 16, 2010

    More than 2,600 oil and gas wells have been drilled on Lubicon Cree land in northern Alberta, Canada. this intensive development has taken place against the wishes of the Lubicon people and has had tragic consequences for their society and livelihoods. there are fears that even more destructive forms of extraction are planned for the future.

    The land is crucial to the Lubicon culture and economy. Before large-scale oil and gas development began, the Lubicon Cree were largely self-sufficient, relying on hunting, trapping, fishing and other traditional land uses to meet most of their needs. The environmental impact of oil and gas development has made these activities almost impossible, plunging the Lubicon Cree into poverty.