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On January 31st, We Made History.

This is what a strong Alberta looks like.

On January 31st, following the Moose Lake Together Summit, the Fort McKay First Nation and Government of Alberta announced a three-month roadmap to approve the Moose Lake Plan.

The Summit was the culmination of twenty years of consultation, collaboration and revision to the Moose Lake Plan, a plan that ensures responsible resource development and protects the ecological and cultural integrity of Moose Lake.

Delegates attending the Summit included: Indigenous Relations Minister Rick Wilson and all Moose Lake area leaseholders including Athabasca Oil, Chevron Canada, PetroChina, Prosper Petroleum, Sunshine Oilsands, Alberta Pacific Forest Industries, and Northland Forest Products.

Other attendees present as observers included: representatives from the Grand Council of Treaty 8 First Nations, Assembly of First Nations Alberta Region, fellow Athabasca Tribal Council members Chiefs Allan Adam and Ron Kreutzer, other First Nations, the Métis Settlements General Council, Imperial Oil, Syncrude, Teck Resources, and other interested parties.

At the historic meeting, the Fort McKay First Nation joined our partners in responsible growth to:

  • review the history and evolution of the Moose Lake Plan;
  • review what we heard in government-led consultations with industry;
  • present the improvements made to address industry’s concerns;
  • provide an overview of the key elements of the Moose Lake Plan; and
  • respond to stakeholder questions.

We commend the Alberta government for making a commitment where previous governments with good intentions have fallen short. We sincerely thank the thousands of Albertans who, in expressing their support, have shown that responsible resource development can be a tool for reconciliation.

This is what happens when government, industry and Indigenous partners work together for a stronger Alberta.

THE FACTS

The ancestors of Fort McKay First Nation lived in the Moose Lake area for thousands of years. Today, it is the last undisturbed wilderness in Fort McKay’s traditional territory where community members can teach their culture and traditions to their children and grandchildren.

There are 142,200km2 in Alberta’s Athabasca oil sands region. The 10KMZ around Moose Lake affects just over 100 km2 of the region – or 0.7%.

The Moose Lake Plan doesn’t prohibit development. It defines the conditions under which development may occur that will maintain the ecological and cultural integrity of Moose Lake.

Under the Moose Lake Plan, 85% of habitat will remain intact, promoting ecosystem health and biodiversity, as well as preserving important food, medicinal and ceremonial plants and animals.

The Moose Lake Plan is based on four rounds of collaborative negotiation with the Government of Alberta and five rounds of consultation with industry stakeholders.

The Moose Lake Plan offers partial credit to developers for reclamation efforts – 25% immediately following decommissioning and another 25% as soon as planting begins on an approved reclamation plan instead of waiting 15-20 years for a government reclamation certificate, which is the current standard.

The new Moose Lake Plan provides a further 762+ hectares to the forestry sector in the 10KMZ to bring its total disturbance allotment to 1,500 acres.

After 20 years of negotiations, after 20 years in which previous governments with good intentions have fallen short, Fort McKay First Nation can see the finish line for the Moose Lake Plan. On behalf of my councillors and community members, I want to applaud Environment and Parks Minister Jason Nixon, Indigenous Relations Minister Rick Wilson, and Premier Jason Kenney for their commitment to respect Treaty rights and foster responsible growth in the Athabasca oil sands.

If you are a stakeholder interested in attending the Moose Lake Together Summit, please e-mail mooselaketogether@fortmckay.com and provide the reasons you think Fort McKay should invite you to attend. We will consider all applicants and respond to those selected to join us.

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