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November 23rd 2022
Eriel Tchekwie Deranger’s home community of Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation is in what she calls a “sacrifice zone.” The nation borders the oil production epicentre of Canada: the oilsands, which leak toxic chemicals and wreak havoc on local ecosystems.
The same is true for many nations within Treaty 8 territory, which covers northern Alberta. For those nations, which have suffered over a century of colonial dispossession of land, children and systemic hardship, there was almost no choice but to strike agreements with the oil and gas sector, including small minority-stake ownership in pipelines.
Deranger’s community was one of those nations. They needed a school and other infrastructure improvements, and the environmental movement was not stepping up to provide it, Deranger, executive director of Indigenous Climate Action, said.
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