Healing Walk 2011
Keepers of the Athabasca
  
For more voices opposing the largest bitumen mine ever proposed, see below.

We are First Nations, Metis, Inuit, environmental groups, and Watershed citizens working together for the protection of water, land and air, and thus for all living things today and tomorrow in the Athabasca River Watershed.

OUR MISSION
To unite the peoples of the Athabasca River and Lake Watershed to secure and protect water and watershed lands for ecological, social, cultural and community health and well being.

BECOME A KEEPER OF THE ATHABASCA: HOW TO DONATE
Help protect the Athabasca Watershed: become a Keeper and support the work of the Keepers of the Athabasca. We are now actively seeking donations to support a number of projects around the Athabasca Watershed. Please visit our donations page and select a membership or specific project to receive your support. Note that you can donate to the Keepers of the Athabasca or our parent organization, Keepers of the Water. Thank you.
» Donate to the Keepers of the Athabasca
» Donate to the Keepers of the Water

WORKSHOPS: FLOWING INTO RIGHT RELATIONSHIP
Keepers of the Athabasca offers a number of interactive and informative community workshops: The "Blanket Exercise", United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Truth and Reconciliation, Exploring the Treaties, Indigenous Water Governance, and the Community Climate Action. For more information or to book a workshop, please contact Jule Asterisk.
» Download the "Flowing into Right Relationship" Workshops poster (700KB PDF)
» Download our Community Climate Action brochure (460KB PDF)

BROCHURES
» Download our Keepers of the Athabasca brochure (700KB PDF)
» Download our I'm a Keeper brochure (2.1MB PDF)

Newsletters
What's New
DOCUMENTATION: Keepers of the Athabasca summarizes its participation in the Frontier Oil Sands Mine hearing
April 16, 2019
At the Frontier Oil Sands Mine project, by Teck Resources Ltd. hearing, Keepers of the Athabasca Team participated in the following ways:
March-July 2017: Keepers of the Athabasca conducted a series of interviews with Traditional Knowledge Holders from Fort McMurray First Nation, Fort McMurray Métis Nation, Mikisew Cree Nation, and Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation.
» Download interview compilation (440KB PDF)
September 25-28, 2018 · Fort McMurray: ED Jule Asterisk attended Teck's presentation and had opportunity to cross-examine their staff and experts. Hearing transcripts of Jule's cross-examination of Teck are available here:
» September 25, 2018 transcript
» September 27, 2018 transcript
» September 28, 2018 transcript
October 4, 2018 · Fort McMurray: Keepers' presentation to the JRP, including Dr. John O'Connor, Dr. Gerda Kits, Regan Boychuk, Paul Belanger, and Jule Asterisk.
» Hearing transcript for the Keepers' presentation
» Keepers presentation to the JRP
October 2018 · Fort Chipewyan: Co-chair Jean L'Hommecourt attended faithfully each day that the hearing ran in Fort Chipewyan, and reported back to Keepers' Board and Experts on the goings on at this part of the hearing.
December 12, 2018: Co-chair Jean L’Hommecourt, Board member Roxanne Blood, and interim ED Jule Asterisk gave our final statement to the Joint Review Panel in Calgary. Our final argument was finished and rehearsed with supporters the night before our presentation in Calgary and can be viewed here:
» Final statement to the JRP
» December 12 presentation transcript, including speeches by Jean and Roxanne
NEWSLETTER: The January 2019 edition of our Newsletter is now available
January 16, 2019
Volume 8, Issue 1 includes stories about the Flowing into Right Relationship workshop series, tailing ponds and the impact on aquifers in the Athabasca Basin, an update on Swan Hills, the Keepers presentation to the Joint Review Panel, and more.
» NEWSLETTER: Volume 8, Issue 1, January 2019 (1.4MB PDF)

EVENT: Fundraiser for Keepers of the Athabasca: Edmonton, February 7, 2019
January 7, 2019
Join Jessica Jalbert, Caity Fisher, Jom Comyn, and Feed Dogs for a fundraiser for the Keepers of the Athabasca in Edmonton, February 7, 2019. Doors open at 8pm; show at 9pm. This 18+ event is hosted by TunaTone Instruments. A portion of the proceeds will go to support Unist'ot'en Camp.
» EVENT DETAILS: Fundraiser for Keepers of the Athabasca (Facebook)
» TICKETS: Fundraiser for Keepers of the Athabasca (eventbrite)

JOB VACANCY: Workshop Coordinator, Keepers of the Athabasca
January 7, 2019
Working with the Workshop Outreach personnel, the Coordinator reports to Keepers' Personnel Committee, and is assisted by the Executive Director. In his/her role, the Coordinator provides ongoing leadership and support to Keepers while coordinating our workshops programs for schools, First Nations and Métis organizations, Friendship Centres, Municipalities, community groups and others.
Location: flexibility within Northern Alberta
Duration: 6 month part-time contract (30 hours per week) with 3 month probationary period and possibility of contract renewal and more hours
Application Deadline: February 10, 2019
» Full job description and application details (152KB PDF)

EVENT: Athabasca Basin: Tailings and Impacts on Aquifers project
October 25, 2018
Keepers of the Athabasca are working with hydrogeologists to develop a data visualization tool for community based water monitoring that will show where tailings are seeping into the groundwater and coming back up in the Athabasca River. A community meeting will be held on November 21, 2018, followed by a conference and round table on November 22 at the Nistawoyou Friendship Centre in Fort McMurray.
» PROJECT: Athabasca Basin: Tailings and Impacts on Aquifers (268KB PDF)
» POSTER: Community meeting, November 21, 2018 (408KB PDF)
» POSTER: Conference and round table, November 22, 2018 (9.7MB PDF)
» REGISTRATION: Athabasca Basin: Tailings (eventbrite)

RELEASE: Canada must assess toxicity of tailings pond chemicals, enviro groups argue
October 23, 2018
Environmental groups say the Government of Canada is failing to meet its legal responsibilities by exempting tailings pond chemicals from a recent screening assessment. In a comment letter sent to Health Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada on behalf of Environmental Defence and Keepers of the Athabasca on Oct. 17, Ecojustice lawyers called on the government to reconsider naphthenic acids from oil sands process-affected water in assessing whether these chemicals should be regulated under law.
» Canada must assess toxicity of tailings pond chemicals, enviro groups argue (775KB PDF)
» Letter from Ecojustice to Environment and Climate Change Canada (5MB PDF)

RELEASE: No more new bitumen mines!
October 22, 2018
We have many unacknowledged environmental and human health impacts from existing bitumen mines, with currently over a billion cubic metres of toxic tailings. Keepers of the Athabasca is one of the intervenors working hard to stop a proposal for the biggest bitumen mine yet. KoA cross examined Teck Resources Inc.'s team on September 27 and 28, and gave direct evidence on October 4, 2018 in Fort McMurray. This media release has quotations from KoA's Expert Witnesses and concerns about the way the Joint Review Panel views their mandate.
» No more new bitumen mines! (336KB PDF)
» Orphan Wells Association v. Alberta Treasury Branches Case Info (600KB PDF)
» Rainforest Rescue petition letter against the Teck/Frontier mine (267KB PDF)
» PETITION: Oil tankers or orcas? Keep tar sand in the ground! (Rainforest Rescue)

RELEASE: Speaking out against gravel pits in the Tawatinaw valley
October 15, 2018
The Tawatinaw valley and watershed, with a rich history and cherished by all who live in and around it, is now threatened by two proposed massive gravel and sand pits. The landowner and Sustainable Developments Commercial Services (SDC) are putting their applications to the Alberta government, and a number of local area residents are speaking out.
» Speaking out against gravel pits in the Tawatinaw valley (313KB PDF)

RELEASE: True Cost Accounting would tell the whole story on proposed Teck/Frontier mine
September 24, 2018
The Joint Review Panel convenes on September 25, 2018 to review Teck's application for a brand new bitumen mine in Alberta. This, the largest and most northerly mine yet, is right next to endangered UNESCO world heritage site, the Wood Buffalo National Park, and the application runs over 4000 pages. It is contested by First Nations, environmental groups, and other concerned citizens. As Canada looks for that sweet spot between energy development and environmental protection, we need True Cost Accounting to help us get the whole story. Including all of the costs in the accounting for any project delivers its 'true cost': not just costs for project proponents, but real costs for Canadians today, and also the costs for future generations. Click the images below for a larger view.
» True Cost Accounting would tell the whole story on proposed Teck/Frontier mine (360KB PDF)




RELEASE: Solar power: Our allegiance to land, air, water, and sun
August 13, 2018
Keepers of the Athabasca is partnering with Sucker Creek First Nation and the Society of High Prairie Regional Environmental Action Committee to put a solar installation on the Treaty 8 Building in Sucker Creek First Nation. This clean energy project will save thousands of dollars each year, and initiates planning for Phase 2, accessing Alberta's Indigenous Solar Program to design and build solar for a good part of the larger SCFN community. Click the photos below for a larger view, or review the original Request for Proposals (now closed).
» Solar power: Our allegiance to land, air, water, and sun (241KB PDF)
» SCFN Solar Contract: Information for Bidders (386KB PDF)
» SCFN Solar Contract: RFP Instructions (98KB PDF)
» SCFN Solar Contract: Draft Services Contract (389KB PDF)
» SCFN Solar Contract: Cost Appendix (91KB XLSX)



RELEASE: Condolences - 10 years after international tailings duck disaster
April 30, 2018
On the anniversary of 1,600 ducks' death in Syncrude's tailings pond, we wish to express our sincere condolences for the thousands of other lives lost in tailing ponds, including at least 27 black bears, 67 deer, 31 red foxes and 21 coyotes (between 2000 and 2008 only), along with moose, muskrats, beavers, voles, martens, more ducks, geese, at least 31 blue herons (2015), other birds, and people, as well as the unknown and unreported deaths of other animals large and small. Keepers of the Athabasca continues to work hard to oppose new bitumen extraction, actively fundraising to provide tools for community based monitoring and advocating for an independent human health study to examine the confirmed human cancer clusters in northeastern Alberta.
» Condolences - 10 years after international tailings duck disaster (374KB PDF)

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The Keepers of the Athabasca depends upon our many sponsors and volunteers who make our activities possible. Thank you for helping to keep the Athabasca!
» Full sponsor list