The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation in Alberta has filed a potentially groundbreaking legal challenge over the failure of the federal and provincial governments to protect Indigenous land rights in the face of oilsands development on their traditional territory.
The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) is challenging the proposed expansion of Shell’s Jackpine Mine north of Fort McMurray. The ACFN argues that the federal and provincial governments, which both have to give approval to the project, have not taken proper account of Aboriginal and Treaty rights protected in the Canadian Constitution.
A joint federal-provincial environmental assessment panel is scheduled to begin public hearings next Monday. The joint panel announced today that it will decide this week whether or not it will first consider the ACFN Constitutional challenge.