ACTION ALERT: Support Indigenous rights to protect their sacred sites!
Recently members of the Cold Lake First Nation (CLFN) set-up a cultural camp to prevent the construction of an RV park on their traditional territory. The area slated for construction holds tremendous cultural and historical significance for the CLFN. It is locally known as Berry Point and the Denesuline have lived, hunted, fished and gathered food and medicine since time immemorial. The area also contains gravesites, which are of utmost cultural importance to CLFN members.
Although a small campground has existed since the 1950’s, in the past few years the Province of Alberta has commenced operations to expand the existing campground into a larger and more extensively developed campground suitable for large recreational vehicles (RVs). This would include extensive surveying of the area, further removal of natural resources such as trees, plants and wildlife, the creation of a modern road into the area, large gravel pads and paths throughout the park as well as any other number of disturbances which may arise from the expansion. The Province will also impose barriers upon the Denesuline. For instance, fire bans will interfere with smoke houses; gates and fences will physically restrict Denusline access; and payment of fees may be required. Some consultation with the local people was done, but discussions were cut off before any real progress was made and development seems to be continuing without regard to the needs of the Denesuline people.
Members of the Cold Lake First Nation are requesting your support for their concerns!
Please take a moment to send an email and make a phone call to the Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation. Let them know that you respect Cold Lake First Nations right to full consultation for any development project on their territory especially one as culturally significant as this one.
CONTACT the ALBERTA GOVERNMENT!
Phone: (780) 427-2251
MInister of Aboriginal Affairs
To the Honourable Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation Cindy Ady:
cc'd Premier Stelmach; Minister of Aboriginal Affairs
I want to register my support for the Cold Lake First Nation and their right to full consultation before any development occurs on their traditional territory. The area that the Province is seeking to develop, the English Bay Provincial Recreation Area, holds tremendous cultural and historical significance for the Cold Lake First Nation. The expansion of recreational areas is not as important as respecting the rights of First Nation peoples. Every level of government must acknowledge and protect the constitutional rights of Aboriginal peoples.
I hearby urge you as Minister of Tourisn, Parks and Recreation to suspend all development of this area until proper consultation has been conducted with the Cold Lake First Nation and their concerns have been properly addressed.
Thank you for your attention in this matter and I look forward to your reply to my concerns.
<your name & address>