Action at 12th Avenue and Clark and two other $hell stations in Vancouver October 23, 2012 organisd by Rising Tide Coast Salish Territories in solidarity with the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation and their case against Shell Oil
"We're drawing the line, and taking a strong stand against Shell. ACFN wants no further developments until Shell is brought to justice and our broader concerns about the cumulative impacts in the region are addressed," - Chief Adam.
The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) filed suit against Shell Oil Canada in September of 2011. Papers were served to Shell executives in November.
The Case against Shell arose from Shell not meeting contractual agreements made with ACFN in 2003 and 2006 regarding two open pit mining tar sands projects. Shell had made promises to provide adequate resources for the community to participate in mitigation discussion, to map out traditional areas and study potential impacts of Shell projects on sacred sites, and for the community to implement a community monitoring program.
After years of unmet agreements with Shell Oil, the Athabasca Chipewyan people decided to risk everything by challenging Shell's practices and filing suit represented by Othuis Kleer Townshed Firm. The agreements in question were meant to ensure Shell would provide measures to lessen impact of these mines on ACFN, including agreements to address environmental issues and mitigation. Shell's failure to meet these agreements with ACFN has led to harmful impacts on the environment and ACFN's constitutionally protected rights and culture.
In addition to the lawsuit against Shell, ACFN also plans to oppose all future tar sands projects by Shell. Tar sands have been widely recognized as the most destructive project on earth because of the serious impacts on treaty and aboriginal rights, ecological destruction and global green house gas emissions (GHG). Shell is one of the largest players in the tar sands producing close to 20% of overall production. Shell Canada recently submitted proposals to expand its current tar sands operations and if approved, would more then double their production. This would translate into further encroachment of open pit mines on ACFN traditional lands, and into the pristine wilderness of the Pierre River, a previously untouched area.
The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) is a Denesuline community based in Fort Chipewyan, Alberta. Its territory spans and includes lands within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, the Lower Athabasca and North West Saskatchewan planning regions. Members of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation hold rights that are protected by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.