After nearly two decades of seeking enhanced protection for its Moose Lake reserves, Fort McKay First Nation thanks the UCP government of Premier Jason Kenney for listening, for participating in difficult discussions, and for being open to learning together.
The Moose Lake 10-kilometre special management zone (10KMZ) represents a very real and tangible connection to a sacred landscape and way of life. The government’s decision to locate central processing facilities (CPFs) outside this zone recognizes the negative impacts these facilities would have had on Fort McKay's ability to practice traditional land uses essential to the preservation of our Cree and Dene cultures.
“This is a long-awaited moment in the process of honourable Treaty implementation,” said Chief Mel Grandjamb. “We are grateful for our Elders and community leaders who were early champions for the protection of Moose Lake, who advocated on behalf of the Nation for the full implementation of Treaty rights, and meaningful acts of reconciliation.”
We wish to thank all of you for your ongoing support of Moose Lake. Despite many obstacles that appeared over two decades, Fort McKay leadership and their staff have worked very hard to ensure the MLAMP outcome would meet the community’s expectations. Fort McKay’s motto is “Inspired in our past, invested in our future.” Alberta’s decision to adopt this MLAMP, which recognizes the exercise of Treaty rights and traditional land uses and which advances reconciliation, is the beginning of a renewed Treaty partnership with Fort McKay.
With the approval of the MLAMP, the Alberta government has acted on two decades of policy exploration, demonstrating a commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. Fort McKay First Nation looks forward to a renewed and respectful treaty partnership with Alberta to fully realize the promises of Treaty 8.
Chief and Council
“Moose Lake” refers to the area where our ancestors have lived for millennia past. It is located 65 km north of Fort McKay’s hamlet reserve. For our members, Moose Lake is essential for the preservation of our culture and way of life and the sharing of that culture from older to younger generations. Traditional land uses here include trapping, hunting, fishing and the harvesting of food and medicinal plants.
The Moose Lake Plan is a government policy that introduces new parameters for responsible industry growth in the vicinity of Moose Lake intended to respect Treaty rights and the exercise of traditional land uses and cultural practices. Since 2002, we have been working with the Government of Alberta to manage industrial impacts and try to preserve the ecological and cultural integrity of our Moose Lake reserves and the surrounding 10 km management zone (10KMZ).
We have appeared before the Court of Appeal to overturn the Alberta Energy Regulator’s approval of Prosper’s Rigel project in the Moose Lake area. AER issued its approval despite the fact we were still developing the Moose Lake Plan with the Government of Alberta -- an initiative first discussed in 2002. Nearly two decades later, this court action is essential to protect our Treaty rights and way of life. But the new Alberta government gives us fresh hope that there’s another way forward.
As one of the biggest and earliest First Nations contributors to the energy sector, Fort McKay has been a partner in growing Alberta’s oil sands industry for 30 years. We’re proud of that and are committed to the industry’s future success, which translates into our success, too. The issue is actually responsible and respectful development with the acknowledgement that Alberta must uphold the honour of the Crown and protect the Treaty rights of its long-time partners.