News Releases and Events
WORKSHOPS: Keepers of the Athabasca offers Flowing into Right Relationship community workshops
October 9, 2017
Keepers of the Athabasca is now funding to bring interactive and informative workshops across central and northern Alberta. These community workshops operate together to have a cross-sectoral approach while accomplishing both of our goals: encouraging Albertan's participation in our energy transition, and increasing understanding and respect for Indigenous philosophies and Indigenous peoples of Alberta. Contact Jodie Woodward or Jule Asterisk.
» Download the "Flowing into Right Relationship" Workshops poster (700KB PDF)
» Download our Community Climate Action brochure (460KB PDF)

RELEASE: More birds dead in toxic tailings: before plant even opens!
September 23, 2017
Keepers of the Athabasca is distressed to hear that yet another large group of birds is dead due to toxic tailings in the bitumen mining region of Northern Alberta. We ask the Alberta Energy Regulator to require industry to replace the so called "bird deterrents" as they are now definitively proven not to work. Green chemistry and dry processing options must be considered and implemented. If industry won't get less impactful methods into play, and protect wildlife and human health, regulators must require that they do. Keepers recently participated in the Mine Financial Security Program working group, and asked that full financial security for bitumen mine clean-up be required.
» RELEASE: More birds dead in toxic tailings: before plant even opens! (885KB PDF, with diagrams)
» DIAGRAM: Active evaporation (160KB PDF)
» DIAGRAM: Evaporation tanks, not tailing ponds (311KB PDF)

RELEASE: Toxic park conundrum
July 6, 2017
On Tuesday, July 11 at 6 pm, there will be a public meeting in the tiny hamlet of Faust, on the shores of the Lesser Slave Lake. Once the largest settlement on the lake, idyllic Faust is now home to a toxic site that Big Lakes County suggests making into a public park. Local residents are concerned, and representatives of Alberta Environment and Parks will also be present at the meeting.
» RELEASE: Toxic park conundrum (206KB PDF)

RELEASE: Flowing into Right Relationship: Paddle the Athabasca River June 29-July 1
June 29, 2017
Today the Athabasca and its Keepers hosted a unique 3-day canoe voyage of Athabasca Watershed Indigenous Peoples and Settlers in celebration of Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation and the importance and value of Keeping this Canadian Heritage River for all living things. This wild, beautiful and still free, undammed river provides Boreal homes and livelihood for all peoples and a great diversity of native plants and animals, featuring such creatures as Bald Eagles, moose, bear, lynx and many more.
» RELEASE (ENGLISH): Commemorate Canada 150 on a Canadian Heritage River (257KB PDF)
» COMMUNIQUÉ (FRANCAIS): Venez célébrer Canada 150 sur une rivière du patrimoine canadien (340KB PDF)
» FACEBOOK: Flowing into Right Relationship Paddle Event Page
» POSTER: Flowing into Right Relationship (177KB PDF)

RELEASE: Documents for Phase 1 of the Hay River Basin pollution investigation
June 14, 2017
A media conference and information session was held February 2, 2017 to discuss the Hay River Basin pollution investigation. Based on concerns relayed by Traditional Knowledge Holders in northwestern Alberta, Keepers of the Water and its partners, Dene Tha First Nation, Beaver First Nation, North Peace Tribal Council, and Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta have completed phase one of this investigation regarding pipeline spills and their clean-up in Dene Tha Traditional Territory. The documents below include the full analytics report of bioassay results from contaminated sites, interviews with Traditional Knowledge holders, and presentations from the information session.
» REPORT: Bioassay Results from Contaminated Sites in Northern Alberta (2.7MB PDF)
» SUMMARY: Bioassay Results from Contaminated Sites in Northern Alberta (350KB PDF)
» INTERVIEW: Dene Tha First Nation Traditional Knowledge Holders (360KB PDF)
» PRESENTATION: A Forensic Investigation of Crude Oil and Saline Spills, Dr. Kevin Timoney (12.8MB PDF - NOTE: This file is for personal use only and has been superseded by an analysis of data current to 2017)
» ABSTRACT: A Forensic Investigation of Crude Oil and Saline Spills, Dr. Kevin Timoney (130KB PDF)
» PRESENTATION: Hay River Basin Pollution Investigation, KOTW Project Manager Jule Asterisk (2.9MB PDF)
» POSTER: Media conference and information session (770KB PDF)

VIDEO: Solar4All: A solar project partnership between Keepers of the Athabasca and Beaver Lake Cree Nation
April 18, 2017
The Beaver Lake Cree Nation and the Keepers of the Athabasca partnered together to launch a small-scale, 24.65kW solar project installed at the community school. The sponsors of this project include: Alberta EcoTrust Foundation, Glasswaters Foundation, and The Society of High Prairie Regional Environmental Action Committee. Learn more about the project and meet some of those involved.
» VIDEO: Solar4All (4:10)

APPEAL FOR SUPPORT: The Hay River Basin pollution investigation and remediation planning
January 29, 2017
The Keepers of the Water seek your help to complete the final step of our Hay River Basin Pollution Study. For many years, Traditional Knowledge Carriers and Indigenous hunter trappers of NW Alberta have seen significant deterioration of their traditional lands, waters, plants, wildlife and livelihoods caused by petroleum installation spills and pipelines breaks. The Keepers of the Water, in partnership with the First Nations of NW Alberta, have sponsored a comprehensive study of these pollution events combining the traditional knowledge of the Dene and Cree trappers and knowledge carriers with the best of current wetland science. The findings, implications and recommendations will be presented at the University of Alberta on February 2, 2017, with as many Native scholars and leaders at the presentation and followup discussion as possible. We sincerely seek your support to ensure these leaders are all present to participate in the conversation with Keepers and the authorities that ensues. For more information on this presentation, see the poster in the news item below, and to support this important project of the Keepers, please visit the new donations page for the Keepers of the Water.
» APPEAL FOR SUPPORT: The Hay River Basin pollution investigation and remediation planning

MEDIA CONFERENCE: Completion of phase 1 of the Hay River Basin pollution investigation
January 9, 2017
A media conference and information session will be held February 2, 2017 at noon to discuss the Hay River Basin pollution investigation. Based on concerns relayed by Traditional Knowledge Holders in northwestern Alberta, Keepers of the Water and its partners, Dene Tha First Nation, Beaver First Nation, North Peace Tribal Council, and Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta have completed phase one of this investigation regarding pipeline spills and their clean-up in Dene Tha Traditional Territory. The media conference will take place at Corbett Hall at the University of Alberta, and will include a presentation by Dr. Kevin Timoney. See the poster for further information.
POSTER: Media conference and information session (770KB PDF)

RELEASE: Uncontrollable oil seepage continues on weapons range
November 28, 2016
In 2009 and 2013, reports of a new type of 'spill' surfaced in the Cold Lake region, in which the earth's crust is cracked, broken, and oozing bitumen. After an investigation of the spills, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) released new conditions on CNRL's approval on March 21, 2016. Unfortunately, the new lower steam pressure in these regulations was too late to prevent the irrevocable destruction of geology at Primrose Lake. Imperial Oil is now planning a new extreme oil extraction operation at Marie Lake. Locals are concerned, and hopefully the special geology, prior history of local issues, and special conditions for approvals may change their mind.
» RELEASE: Uncontrollable oil seepage continues on weapons range (160KB PDF)
» RELEASE: CNRL Primrose incident caused by excessive steaming; AER releases final investigation report (50KB PDF)
» REPORT: Distribution of total dissolved solids in McMurray Formation water in the Athabasca oil sands region, Alberta, Canada: Implications for regional hydrogeology and resource development (670KB PDF)

REPORT: Indigenous Climate Action: Final Meeting Report
October 26, 2016
The Indigenous Peoples Meeting on Climate Change was coordinated and organized based on our belief that there was and still is an urgent need to engage Indigenous communities in Canada on the important topic of climate change, climate change policy, and the intersectionality of the rights of Indigenous peoples. Keepers of the Athabasca served as host for the meeting, building a movement for Indigenous-led Climate Justice.
» REPORT: Indigenous Climate Action: Final Meeting Report (3.4MB PDF)
» WEBSITE: Indigenous Climate Action

RELEASE: More testing, new technology asked of hazardous waste incinerator
October 11, 2016
Keepers of the Athabasca met with SUEZ Environmental (replacing SENA) and Alberta Environment and Parks on September 9, 2016. We agreed to work together to address effects of 'unplanned' and 'allowable' PCB, dioxin, and furan releases, and managing hazardous wastes. SUEZ Environmental agreed to provide a plan to perform core samples in the Towns of Slave Lake, Athabasca, and Fort Assiniboine. Keepers of the Athabasca proposes to examine 'oxidation' technology as an alternative to incineration of PCB waste, and SUEZ has agreed to help investigate this technology. We ask Alberta Environment and Alberta Health to help facilitate this work to respond to our concerns, which are the concerns of many in communities all around the SHTC. Our previous open letters and further documentation are below.
» LETTER: To the ESRD regarding the Swan Hills Treatment Centre (140KB PDF)
» LETTER: Response from the ESRD (560KB PDF)
» LETTER: To the ESRD with further information (127KB PDF)
» DOCUMENT: Aboriginal Society and Alberta's Natural Resources Conservation Board (1992) (700KB PDF)
» DOCUMENT: Elder Interviews, Regional Elders Environment Commission (600KB PDF)
» DOCUMENT: Presentation of Grand Chief Jim Badger to the Environmental Appeal Board (127KB PDF)
» DOCUMENT: Hazardous Waste: Disrupted Lives; First Nation perspectives on the Alberta Special Waste Treatment Centre at Swan Hills (400KB PDF)
» REPORT: Technical Update for the Lesser Slave Watershed (State of the Watershed) (6.4MB PDF)
» LETTER: Response from the ESRD following further information (221KB PDF)
» LETTER: To the AE&P raising concerns about direct responses from the contractor (176KB PDF)
» RELEASE: More testing, new technology asked of hazardous waste incinerator (430KB PDF)

RELEASE: Solar4All: Our allegiance to land, air, water, and sun
September 8, 2016
Keepers of the Athabasca participates in the Solar4All campaign. Our information tables this summer were met with enthusiasm and hundreds of signatures. Solar4All believes that everyone who wants to access solar energy should be able to do so. We are meeting with Infrastructure Minister Danielle Larivee to pass along the postcards that her constituents have signed supporting greater access to solar power on September 16, 2016. The Solar4All petition will be tabled in the Legislature next month.
» RELEASE: Solar4All: Our allegiance to land, air, water, and sun (345KB PDF)

RELEASE: Join us September 6 to support the Justice for the Peace Caravan
August 30, 2016
First Nations leaders, Elders and other community members from Treaty 8 are driving across Canada to focus on the importance of the latest legal challenge to the Site C Dam project on the Peace River. On September 6, Elder Nancy Scanie will lead a Water Ceremony at the Alberta Legislature at 8am, before the caravan leaves. Come gather, bring water from a precious natural place, and bring yourself in solidarity with people protecting land and water for a better future.
» RELEASE: Justice for the Peace! Caravan (107KB PDF)

BLOG: Solar for All! A blog by Jule Asterisk
August 30, 2016
Keepers of the Athabasca are in the process of developing two solar installation projects with First Nations in Alberta. Crystal Lameman of Beaver Lake Cree Nation is managing our partnership at her nation, along with other women heading up the Training Team, Site Team, and Garden Team, engaging their community in order to make decisions about where and how the solar equipment will be installed. According to Keepers of the Athabasca Co-chair Cleo Reece (Fort McMurray First Nation), "We need to stop our dependence on fossil fuels for energy and focus on renewable sources such as the abundant energy from the sun, and learn how to build and maintain our own energy systems."
» BLOG: Solar for All! Read the full post (207KB PDF)
» WEBSITE: Solar4All · Information, campaign, and petition

NEWSLETTER: Keepers of the Athabasca publishes its newsletter for June 2016
June 30, 2016
The KoA Newsletter for June 2016 includes features on a gathering of Indigenous leaders to discuss climate action, an update on the Swan Hills Treatment Centre, an introduction to our new directors, and more.
» NEWSLETTER: KoA Newsletter, June 2016 (875KB PDF)

GATHERING: Keepers of the Water X
June 17, 2016
Keepers of the Water join Paddle for the Peace, urgently protecting the Peace River from Site C Dam. Join us for a Strategic Planning Session on July 9, 2016 at 6pm (RSVP), and for our Annual General Meeting on July 10, 2016 at 1pm at the Treaty 8 Building in Fort St. John, BC.
» INFORMATION: Keepers of the Water X
» WEBSITE: Paddle for the Peace
» POSTER: Keepers of the Water X (600KB PDF)

RELEASE: Tu Kho'l th'er - Water is Boss - Nipiy Okimaw
May 23, 2016
As Keepers of the Water, we, the people who have united from all walks of life, have an understanding that Water is sacred, and water is boss. That we must respect water.... We are currently witnessing fires ravage the lands, taking everything in its path, and again, we are reminded that without water, these fires will continue. Everyone at this time is faced with the reality of the importance of water. It can no longer be denied or ignored.
» RELEASE: Tu Kho'l th'er - Water is Boss - Nipiy Okimaw (389KB PDF)

MEETING: Keepers of the Athabasca's AGM to be held May 28
May 2, 2016
Keepers of the Athabasca will hold its Annual General Meeting on May 28, 2016, from 11am-3pm, at the Anzac Community Hall. For further details, directions, and contact information, download our poster.
» POSTER: Keepers of the Athabasca AGM 2016 (264KB PDF)

RELEASE: Facts made public, hefty fine urged for Obed mine disaster
January 31, 2016
We have waited two long years to find out the facts behind the catastrophic Obed coal slurry spill and be privy to the evidence for the criminal charges laid by the Alberta Energy Regulator against the then owner of the mine, Sherritt International, and Coal Valley Resources. It now appears that we may never know all of the facts because of the possibility that the case will never go to trial. We are calling for a public trial to proceed, in order to shed light on these questions, and if the judge rules in favor of the prosecution, enforcement to the full extent of the law.
» RELEASE: Facts made public, hefty fine urged for Obed mine disaster (240KB PDF)

RELEASE: Climate Change Agreement must include UNDRIP
December 11, 2015
Keepers of the Athabasca calls on other world governments, even those who may feel that in their countries they do not have a group of people who self identify as Indigenous, to support the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in any international agreement from the UN climate change summit in Paris.
» RELEASE: Climate Change Agreement must include UNDRIP (466KB PDF)

EDITORIAL: Where is the snow?
December 2, 2015
"But today... in the season of winter, there is no snow, when there should be, no real winter cold, but more of a barren, empty cold. Today, many are gathered in the one of the biggest international climate change gatherings in world history, in Paris France. And while I sit here in northern Alberta, I pray, that these leaders, will have some concrete plans and actions, solutions that we can all adopt, that will help save our winter..."
» EDITORIAL: Where is the snow? (450KB PDF)

RELEASE: Election Canada 2015: Elect Water Protection
October 7, 2015
Keepers of the Athabasca supports any of Canada's political parties that institute the following water protections: restore the legal protections for waters and fish habitat that were removed by funding reduction and omnibus bills, and pledge to uphold the Canadian Environmental Protection Act; introduce a federal Safe Drinking Water Act in support of provinces, municipalities, and First Nations to keep drinking water safe for all Canadians; and establish and implement a Pan-Canadian Plan for Water, in collaboration with the provinces, territories and indigenous governments, and in consideration with the public to address water quality and quantity across jurisdictions, and which considers the impacts of climate change on current and future water resources.
» RELEASE: Election Canada 2015: Elect Water Protection (360KB PDF)

RELEASE: Water restrictions lifted on the Athabasca River while water levels remain dangerously low
October 2, 2015
Since the water restriction, four reports have come to attention, all providing mounting evidence that low water levels in the Athabasca River are going to continue to be expected as long as there is massive tar sands industry drawing water from the Athabasca River. There are still reports coming into the Keepers of the Athabasca that the Athabasca River is still extremely low. Why has the water restriction been lifted at a time when communities downstream depend on healthy water levels for fall harvesting, and daily use, such as drinking water?
» RELEASE: Water restrictions lifted on the Athabasca River while water levels remain dangerously low (138KB PDF)

RELEASE: Albertans want stronger wetland protection in oilsands region
October 2, 2015
A new survey reveals Albertans overwhelmingly support requirements for oilsands developers to offset their impacts to northern wetlands. Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA), Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Northern Alberta (CPAWS Northern Alberta) and Keepers of the Athabasca urge the Alberta government to end the exemption of current and planned oilsands projects from provincial wetland policy, and to adopt a clear 'no net loss' goal for all of Alberta's wetlands.
» RELEASE: LAlbertans want stronger wetland protection in oilsands region (311KB PDF)

RELEASE: Longstanding environmental issues raising Culture Camps around Alberta
September 30, 2015
The Keepers of the Water congratulates the current Government of Alberta for working with the Chiefs of Driftpile and Swan River First Nations to start resolving longstanding issues in the forest.
» RELEASE: Longstanding environmental issues raising Culture Camps around Alberta (108KB PDF)

RELEASE: Another pipeline break devastates Northern Alberta before Gathering
August 21, 2015
The Keepers of the Water will hold our ninth annual Gathering at Bushe River next week. Unfortunately, yet another pipeline break has occurred that is challenging our co-hosts. Near Chateh, on Dene Tha' Traditional Territory, Nuvista Energy spilled 100 cubic metres of "emulsion" (bitumen, sand, and waste water) over a 13,200 square metre area.
» RELEASE: Another pipeline break devastates Northern Alberta before Gathering (340KB PDF)

RELEASE: A Rapidly Changing Landscape: Degradation, Climate Change, and Treaty Rights
August 20, 2015
While the Canadian Chamber of Commerce suggests that industry and Aboriginal communities could align to extract resources, many Aboriginal communities would rather align to clean up Alberta's landscape, debilitated by pipeline breaks, cut lines, and over 50,000 abandoned well pads.... Real urgency exists for those living off the land, yet in an election year, with the Government of Canada more interested in attack ads and terrorists, than attacking unsustainability and climate change we are forced to simply document these abuses of nature, to take up the case with a new government.
» RELEASE: A Rapidly Changing Landscape: Degradation, Climate Change, and Treaty Rights (340KB PDF)

RELEASE: Water Restrictions on the Athabasca River and impacts to First Nation and Metis Communities
August 18, 2015
The Alberta Energy Regulator currently placed a water restriction on the Athabasca River. The first ever since anyone can ever remember, and some are thanking the new NDP government for prodding the AER to uphold their others duties of not only Energy oversight, but Environmetal protection, which has been severely lacking since the creation of the AER. Science is predicting that it will become more common to have low water levels, however only some companies are restricted on water use, meanwhile there are companies such as Suncor, Syncrude and Shell that can continue taking as much water as they want (no real limit). This still compromises community health and treaty rights and gives corporations first rights to water over communities and living beings.
» RELEASE: Water Restrictions on the Athabasca River and impacts to First Nation and Metis Communities (1MB DOCX)
» VIDEO: Alberta water suspensions a sign of what's to come: study (Global News)
» ARTICLE: Athabasca water restrictions not enough, says environmental group (CBC News)
» ARTICLE: Alberta Energy Regulator curtails water use by some energy companies (Edmonton Journal)
» ARTICLE: Oilsands water restrictions a climate change 'preview': study (Edmonton Journal)
» REPORT: Running out of Steam? Oil Sands Development and Water Use in the Athabasca River-Watershed (2.2MB PDF)

Activists cycle Kinder Morgan pipeline route to Alberta tar sands to illuminate impacts on First Nations and frontline communities
August 12, 2015
A group of activists are cycling the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline route from Seattle to the tar sands boom town of Fort McMurray. Through filmed interviews with First Nations and frontline communities, these folks will illuminate the oil industry's dirty tactics and elevate the voices of those most impacted by the continued expansion of Canada's tar sands.
» WEBSITE: The Road to Athabasca

Keepers of the Water releases its first newsletter for 2015
August 1, 2015
The first issue of News from the Keepers is now available, including the Resolutions from Cold Lake, an introduction to our new Executive Director, and more.
» NEWSLETTER: August 2015, Volume 1, Issue 1 (775KB PDF)

Announcing Keepers of the Water IX
July 24, 2015
Keepers of the Water and the Dene Tha' Nation in Bushe River, Treaty 8 Territory invite you to two important events this summer: a bush camp on Decolonizing Water Governance (August 5-8) and Keepers of the Water IX, our annual watershed gathering of stewards to protect our sacred Arctic Ocean Basin and northern waters (August 27-30).
» Keepers of the Water IX Gathering: Further information, including contact details
» AGENDA: Keepers of the Water IX (134KB PDF)
» POSTER: Keepers of the Water IX (300KB PDF)

Blast Zone signs warn of train danger
June 25, 2015
The Keepers of the Athabasca call on Transport Canada to perform independent inspections instead of relying on rail companies, in order to verify public safety. Commemorating two years after Lac Megantic, Keepers are putting up "Blast Zone" signs to warn the public that within 1 kilometre from passing trains, we are in the ‘blast zone’.
» RELEASE: Blast Zone signs warn of train danger (140KB PDF)

Open Letter regarding the Swan Hills Treatment Centre
June 8, 2015
In this letter, we state our concerns related to the reissuing of the Government of Alberta Approval for the Swan Hills Treatment Centre (SHTC) operated by SENA Waste Services Inc, which approval expires on November 15, 2015. First operational in 1987, SHTC treats hazardous waste in many ways, including hazardous waste incinerators and deep well injection. SHTC has released hazardous material into the environment both as 'allowable emissions' and un-planned releases.
» LETTER: To the ESRD regarding the Swan Hills Treatment Centre (140KB PDF)
» LETTER: Response from the ESRD (560KB PDF)
» LETTER: To the ESRD with further information (127KB PDF)
» DOCUMENT: Aboriginal Society and Alberta's Natural Resources Conservation Board (1992) (700KB PDF)
» DOCUMENT: Elder Interviews, Regional Elders Environment Commission (600KB PDF)
» DOCUMENT: Presentation of Grand Chief Jim Badger to the Environmental Appeal Board (127KB PDF)
» DOCUMENT: Hazardous Waste: Disrupted Lives; First Nation perspectives on the Alberta Special Waste Treatment Centre at Swan Hills (400KB PDF)
» REPORT: Technical Update for the Lesser Slave Watershed (State of the Watershed) (6.4MB PDF)

We are the Land: Energy and Food Sustainability Conference
May 21, 2015
The We are the Land conference is about "Remembering our ancestors' ways, honoring them, while learning about the new sustainable technologies that are becoming more commonly used." Indigenous communities can be vulnerable due to lack of infrastructure, internal economy, or political or economic support. With this conference, the Keepers of the Athabasca and our partners bring to light the potential of food security and energy security to make great strides towards communities' self-sufficiency.
» RELEASE: We are the Land: Energy and Food Sustainability Conference (140KB PDF)
» WEBSITE: We are the Land

Cold Lake FN Elder advises on using steam and pressure where the Earth is fragile
May 13, 2015
Cold Lake First Nation Elder Nancy Scanie declares that instead of laying off thousands of workers and denying entry to the heavily damaged Primrose site to Cold Lake First Nation, companies and governments should work together with First Nations, employing Traditional Ecological Knowledge and their workforce in this time of oil and gas slow down, to perform their due diligence required by law, and clean up. Considering the recent revelations that earthquakes in the Fox Creek area were caused by local fracking processes, the Alberta Energy Regulator’s Approvals for steam assisted gravity drainage, cyclical steam, fracking, and other oil and gas extraction technologies using steam and pressure in the Cold Lake area must be urgently re-examined.
» RELEASE: Cold Lake FN Elder advises: Danger! Using steam and pressure where the Earth is fragile (80KB PDF)

Mikisew Cree and Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation challenge conclusions of the Obed Mine disaster's Human Health Risk Assessment
May 8, 2015
Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) and Mikisew Cree First Nation (MCFN) describe how the Human Health Risk Assessment released by Obed Mine on January 22, 2015 ignores the precautionary principle, uses dubious methodology, and fails to protect downstream users of the Athabasca River. ACFM and MCFN question many aspects of the Assessment.
» RELEASE: Mikisew Cree and Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation challenge conclusions of the Obed Mine disaster's Human Health Risk Assessment (150KB PDF)

Fort Chipewyan to move forward on first solar project
September 17, 2014
From September 16th to September 22nd solar panels will be installed on the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Elder and Youth Lodge with an official ribbon cutting ceremony to take place on September 19th. The installation will be the first of many projects that will be constructed in the region. Keepers of the Athabasca who hope this project will be an example; especially to other tar sands impacted First Nation communities, of the benefits solar can bring to communities supported the solar initiative.
» RELEASE: Fort Chipewyan to Move Forward on First Solar Project (45Kb PDF)

The fifth and final Healing Walk was held June 27-29, 2014
June 29, 2014
This year marked the fifth and final annual Healing Walk in Fort McMurray, Alberta. The people of the Athabasca joined together for this important gathering, turning attention not only to tell the story and stop the destruction in the Athabasca region, but to shed light on other communities, other places that have been sacred since time immemorial: the healing has to start everywhere.
» SITE: Healing Walk 2014: Further information and registration details
» RELEASE: Healing Walk Date Set (168Kb PDF)
» FACEBOOK: Tar Sands Healing Walk
» PHOTOS: 2013 Healing Walk (Flickr)
» VIDEO: Stop the Destruction, Start the Healing: Healing Walk 2013 (YouTube)
» VIDEO: Protecting the Sacred One Step at a Time: Tar Sands Healing Walk 2013 (Vimeo)

RESOLUTION: Keepers release Resolution opposing aggression against the Unist'ot'en Camp
June 7, 2014
Keepers of the Water, KoW Beaver River Council, and Keepers of the Athabasca have released a Resolution opposing government, military and police aggression against the Unist'ot'en Camp and the traditional Gitxsan Wet'suwet'en people who are asserting and protecting natural law on their birthright.
» Read the Resolution (72Kb PDF)

Join us on the Fifth and Final Healing Walk, June 27-29, 2014
May 20, 2014
This year marks the fifth and final annual Healing Walk in Fort McMurray, Alberta. Join the people of the Athabasca for this important gathering, as we turn our attention not only to tell the story and stop the destruction in the Athabasca region, but to shed light on other communities, other places that have been sacred since time immemorial: the healing has to start everywhere.
» SITE: Healing Walk 2014: Further information and registration details
» RELEASE: Healing Walk Date Set (168Kb PDF)
» FACEBOOK: Tar Sands Healing Walk
» PHOTOS: 2013 Healing Walk (Flickr)
» VIDEO: Stop the Destruction, Start the Healing: Healing Walk 2013 (YouTube)
» VIDEO: Protecting the Sacred One Step at a Time: Tar Sands Healing Walk 2013 (Vimeo)

RELEASE: First Nations and NGOs Demand Full Disclosure and Government Action on Toxic Coal Mine Spill
December 18, 2013
First Nations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are concerned that the Alberta Government and Sherritt International continue to downplay the effects of the release of 670-million litres of coal mine wastes into the Athabasca River watershed and that the federal government has remained silent on the spill. A committee formed of several groups, including Keepers of the Athabasca, have released a statement demanding the federal government lay charges against Sherritt under the Fisheries Act, and say further charges are warranted.
» RELEASE: Read the full statement (66Kb PDF)
» VIDEO: Public Forum: Slurry and Spills in the Athabasca, December 2, 2013 (YouTube)
» BACKGROUND: Data Shines Light on Efforts to Keep Public in the Dark and Downplay Impacts of Massive Spill

RELEASE: Long-term damage to the Athabasca River is anticipated from the Obed coal tailings spill
November 28, 2013
Keepers of the Water and Keepers of the Athabasca have released a statement regarding the anticipated long-term damage to the Athabasca River from the breaching of a containment pond at the Obed Mountain coal mine.
» Read the full statement (433Kb PDF)

LETTER: Keepers of the Athabasca releases a general letter to the Boreal Business Forum
November 25, 2013
Keepers of the Athabasca would like to thank all companies for participating in the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA). Unfortunately, neither Forest Stewardship Council certifications nor the CBFA are benefiting Alberta caribou. Therefore, we respectfully ask you to take one more step for forest conservation and avoid purchasing Alberta wood products until caribou critical habitat in Alberta receives the protection it needs to ensure caribou survival.
» Read the full letter and view accompanying map (250Kb PDF)

Keepers release statement on CNRL's Cold Lake oil spill
July 24, 2013
Keepers of the Water and Keepers of the Athabasca have released a statement regarding CNRL's oil spill in Cold Lake. The CNRL spill is of great concern to the Keepers, finding it unacceptable that the leaderships of the neighbouring First Nations have not been given access to do their own assessments. A rally has been planned in Calgary at the CNRL head office at 12noon on Thursday, July 25, 2013.
» Read the full statement (200Kb PDF)
» BACKGROUND: Tar sands well blowout raises questions about Alberta's regulatory oversight (NRDC)

Keepers of the Water VII Watershed Gathering, Part II (Northwest) has been cancelled
July 20, 2013
Part II (Northwest) of the Keepers of the Water VII Watershed Gathering, originally scheduled for July 31-August 1 in Mayo, Yukon, has now been cancelled due to very limited accommodation and food capacity in our planned host community. Please watch for notices of rescheduled meetings. The Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council Summit is a closed gathering for YRITWC directors and invited guests only. We're sorry for any inconvenience, and we hope to join together with our concerned Keepers around the Arctic Ocean Basin soon.
» Keepers of the Water VII: A Sacred Gift, a Human Right

2013 Healing Walk: A powerful and historic gathering
July 10, 2013
Photos and a video are now available from the 2013 Healing Walk held in Fort McMurray on July 5-6.
» PHOTOS: 2013 Healing Walk (Flickr)
» VIDEO: Stop the Destruction, Start the Healing: Healing Walk 2013 (YouTube)
» VIDEO: Protecting the Sacred One Step at a Time: Tar Sands Healing Walk 2013 (Vimeo)
» WEBSITE: Tar Sands Healing Walk

REPORT: The Harper government supports oil sands development and the Keystone Pipeline, but do Canadians?
March 12, 2013
A report just released by Keepers of the Athabasca indicates that many Canadian groups do not support oil sands development. In all, the Keepers found 35 groups had indicated opposition to new tar sands development since 2006. In 2011 former Alberta premier Peter Lougheed also indicated opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline, saying the bitumen should be refined in Alberta. In addition a 2013 Abacus Poll of Canadians indicated 69% of people surveyed preferred the east-west pipeline option. Download the report.
» RELEASE: The Harper government supports oil sands development and the Keystone Pipeline, but do Canadians? (125Kb PDF)
» REPORT: Supporters of a Moratorium/Pause on New Oil Sands Projects in Alberta (116Kb PDF)

Effects of the Keystone XL pipeline on extinction of Alberta's Woodland Caribou part of the Washington Rally
February 19, 2013
Alberta conservation groups have sent information on the decline of woodland caribou in Alberta to the people organizing the February 17 Washington Rally to stop Keystone XL. This information was added to the organizers list of reasons for President Obama to turn down this pipeline. Download the full news release.
» NEWS RELEASE: Effects of the Keystone XL pipeline on extinction of Alberta's Woodland Caribou part of the Washington Rally (60Kb PDF)
» POSTER: Alberta Fossil Fuel Development is Killing Caribou (900Kb PDF)
» FLYER: Keystone XL will help push woodland caribou to extinction in Alberta (535Kb PDF)
» FACT SHEET: Caribou protection promises made and broken by Alberta's Conservative government (70Kb PDF)

Report shows governments breaking own rules to approve more oil sands projects
July 1, 2012
Keepers of the Athabasca has released a report by Helene Walsh, titled Alberta's Oil Sands Development is Not Responsible - Moratorium Needed. This report shows that since 2004, the federal and Alberta provincial governments have knowingly broken their own rules requiring the monitoring and consideration of environmental cumulative effects of all oil sands projects, including water, air, biodiversity and land. Download the full report and accompanying news release.
» Report: Alberta's Oil Sands Development is Not Responsible - Moratorium Needed (877Kb PDF)
» SUMMARY: Summary of Alberta's Oil Sands Development is Not Responsible (426Kb PDF)
» News Release (427Kb PDF)

Keepers of the Athabasca respond to major oil spills in Alberta
June 14, 2012
Two major oil spills have occurred recently in Alberta: one near Red Deer and the other near Rainbow Lake. Both raise serious issues about pipeline safety and harm to the environment, human health and traditional ways of life. The Keepers of the Athabasca stand in solidarity with everyone who has been negatively affected by these spills, and find the provincial government's response too little, too late. Download our official response and call to Premier Redford for action.
» Keepers of the Athabasca response to major oil spills (64Kb DOC)

Keepers ride the Freedom Train
April 25, 2012
Keepers of the Athabasca will be riding the Freedom Train 2012 with the Yinka Dene Alliance against tar sands pipelines on First Nation lands. The Freedom Rally will be held at Jasper Train Station on April 30 at 4pm, and Keepers of the Athabasca will host the Freedom Train Feast in Edmonton on May 1 at 5pm.
» Freedom Train 2012

Save the date! Healing Walk 2012 is confirmed for August 4
April 11, 2012
We are calling on allies and supporters to join us on the Third Annual Tar Sands Healing Walk on Saturday, August 4, 2012. We are asking all community members of the Tar Sands regions and those in the path of tar sands infrastructure (pipelines and refineries) and all supporters to come out and walk for the healing of the land and our sacred waters.
» Photos: Healing Walk 2011

Article: Clean Energy on Horizon for Fort Chip
February 21, 2012
Meagan Wohlberg of the Northern Journal reports on a pilot project between Mike Mercredi and the Keepers of the Athabasca that could see Fort Chipewyan become the first northern Aboriginal community to make the switch to renewable energies. An Energy Baseline Study by Marc Huot of the Pembina Institute is available for download, and provides a detailed energy breakdown for the community, identifying opportunities to reduce costs.
» Article: Clean Energy on Horizon for Fort Chip, Meagan Wohlberg, Northern Journal
» Presentation: Fort Chipewyan Community Energy Baseline, Pembina Institute (4.6Mb PDF)

Release: Keepers of the Athabasca signs Declaration opposing the Northern Gateway Pipeline
February 20, 2012
Keepers of the Athabasca has signed the historic "Save the Fraser Declaration" opposing the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline. The Declaration states: "We will not allow the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines, or similar Tar Sands projects, to cross our lands, territories, and watersheds, or the ocean migration routes of Fraser River salmon." The Keepers of the Athabasca stand in solidarity with all signatories to the Declaration.
» Release: Keepers of the Athabasca signs Declaration, Keepers of the Athabasca

Letter: The Vista Coal Mine project, Coalspur Mines
February 16, 2012
In this letter to Alberta Environment and Water, Carl Hunt of the Athabasca Bioregional Society (Hinton) details a number of critical concerns over the development of Coalspur Mines's Vista Coal Mine project, particularly to do with hydrology and aquatic ecology, and calls for an independent expert review of the Mine Plan.
» Letter: The Vista Coal Mine project, Coalspur Mines, Carl Hunt
» Map: Coalspur Mine Lease Boundary, Carl Hunt
» Proposed Terms of Reference, Environmental Impact Assessment Report, Alberta Environment
» Vista Coal Mine Project Summary Table, Alberta Environment

Online petition: I Am a Radical
February 13, 2012
Steve Earle, a hydrogeologist and teacher at Vancouver Island University (VIU) has produced a petition in light of the position the federal government has expressed on people disagreeing with what's happening in northern Alberta and BC, including the Northern Gateway Pipeline (see our position paper).
» Online petition: I Am a Radical, Steve Earle

Keepers of the Water Publishes a Position Paper on the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline
February 11, 2012
As Keepers of the Water, we believe our present Conservative Government in Ottawa is putting oil industry profits ahead of the social, economic and environmental well-being of Canadians. It is being done in such a way as to erode our democratic rights in the process. This paper, prepared by the Keepers of the Athabasca and Keepers of the Water, outlines our position on the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline and our concerns for the right of participation in the Environmental Assessment process.
» Our position on: The Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline, Keepers of the Water

An Open Letter Regarding a Water Withdrawal Application by Cenovus Energy
January 31, 2012
In this open letter to Alberta Environment and Water, Jesse Cardinal, Downriver Coordinator, and Roland Woodward, Chair for the Keepers of the Athabasca urge the proper consultation of Metis and First Nation peoples potentially affected by a water withdrawal application by Cenovus Energy. Jesse Cardinal: "Silence is not an option."
» Letter to Alberta Environment and Water, Keepers of the Athabasca

VIDEO: Spoil, a documentary on the Great Bear Rainforest
January 30, 2012
This powerful documentary by EP Films has incredible photography by a group of the world's top wildlife photographers. It brings the true picture of the coast this oil would be traveling through to get to open ocean, and the danger level involved. It highlights the nature we all want to protect, but our blinkered and incessant addiction to burn more oil, is helping to destroy.
» Spoil, a documentary on the Great Bear Rainforest, EP Films

VIDEO: Alternative Water Futures: The need for non-market solutions to Alberta's water crisis
January 11, 2012
Jeremy Schmidt, Trudeau Scholar and author of the Parkland Institute research report, Alternative Water Futures in Alberta, presents on the need for alternatives to water markets and real solutions to Alberta's water crisis.
» Watch the video presentation by Jeremy Schmidt
» Download the report, Alternative Water Futures in Alberta, Parkland Institute

Keepers Participate in Ottawa Action against the Keystone Pipeline
September 27, 2011
Keepers of the Athabasca Chair Roland Woodward of Ft. McMurray First Nation and Co-Chair Julie Burke of the Keepers of the Pembina led protesters over the barricade in a peaceful demonstration against the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline from Alberta to Texas, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on September 26, 2011. Julie and Roland were arrested along with more than 100 other protesters in their courageous stand for Our Sacred Water. Roland was easy to spot with his big white hat, eagle feather and cane.All protestors who were arrested were fined, banned from the Parliament grounds for one year, and released. No criminal charges were laid.
» Read the full news release
» VIDEO: Ottawa Action, Greenpeace

Peter Kent, MP responds to Keepers call for assessment
September 8, 2011
The Honourable Peter Kent, MP and Minister of the Environment, has responded to the request by the Keepers of the Athabasca for a full panel federal environmental assessment of the BC Hydro Site C dam.
» Download our request for an environmental assessment, June 17, 2011 (53Kb PDF)
» Download Minister Kent's response (143Kb PDF)

Keepers of the Athabasca AGM minutes are now available
July 28, 2011
Keepers of the Athabasca held its Annual Gathering and AGM on the Pembina River Campground at Jarvie, AB Friday evening June 3 through Sunday morning June 5. The minutes of this important meeting are now available for download
» Download the AGM minutes (90Kb DOC)

Photos: Downstream Communities Hold Second Annual Healing Walk through the Tar Sands
June 25, 2011
On Saturday, June 25th, the Keepers of the Athabasca, a network of First Nation, Métis and settler community members along the Athabasca river hosted a 'healing walk' through the tar sands. This walk wass started by local people directly affected and heartbroken by what the tar sands development has done to their traditional homelands. Photo gallery.
» read more

Fundraising: Help us fund the Keepers Watch Toll-Free Reporting Hotline
March 15, 2011
Join us in celebration of CanadaWaterWeek March 15-22. Support our effort to give citizens the opportunity to voice their concerns on what is happening along the Athabasca River through the Toll-Free Reporting Hotline. The Hotline provides citizens with the opportunity to become a part of the solution within their local community. Information compiled will also be used to determine where concentrated efforts are needed along the watershed. World Water Day is March 22 and we can make this project a reality by then. Your small change can make big change!
» Project details and your opportunity to give

Tipping Point: CBC's Nature of Things looks at the oil sands
January 27, 2011
This two-hour documentary special hosted by Dr. David Suzuki goes into the heart of the conflict surrounding Alberta's oil sands. Featured voices include Francois Paulette (Keepers III Program Chair), Dr. David Schindler, Dr. John O'Connor (Keepers III keynote speaker), Chief Allan Adam, and several others of the Keepers family, along with Avatar director James Cameron.
» CBC Nature of Things: Tipping Point complete documentary

Friends of Wild Salmon post two new videos analyzing oil spills and environmental considerations
December 22, 2010
Friends of Wild Salmon have posted two new videos. In Anatomy of a Crude Oil Pipeline Spill: 2010 Enbridge oil spill into the Kalamazoo River, Michigan, Beth Wallace of the National Wildlife Federation presents a timeline of a recent Enbridge spill. In Beyond Spills: Environmental considerations for communities along Pipeline Corridors, Erin O'Brien of the Wisconsin Wetland Association discusses lessons learned from an Enbridge pipeline project.
» Anatomy of a Crude Oil Pipeline Spill · Beyond Spills

Keepers of the Athabasca holds its fall board and council meeting at MBRS
November 17, 2010
Keepers of the Athabasca will hold its fall board and council meeting Friday, November 19 to Sunday, November 21 at the University of Alberta's Meanook Biological Research Station.

The Spirit Express arrives in Athabasca
November 8, 2010
At Keepers IV, it was determined that a strong medium to share the stories and concerns of the Keepers with Canadians could be through Canada's churches and other organizations concerned with social justice. Mardi Tindal is travelling across Canada on the Spirit Express to engage people in town hall meetings about their responses to the issues of climate and ocean change, and met with a number of Keepers in Athabasca on November 8, 2010.
» Read more about the Spirit Express

Canada's water resources in question
October 28, 2010 · Kyle Ashmead
Canadian activist and National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians Maude Barlow spoke in Edmonton on the 26th of October, at the University of Alberta, to a crowd of over 400 on the issues associated with water markets. Ian Douglass of Australia joined her via Skype and updated us on the privatization of Australia's water. Aboriginal environmental leader Sudana Goodstriker warned the crowd about the unsustainable use of water by oil and gas.
» Read the full article

Water 'Unconference' creates splash in Canadian Rockies
October 25, 2010 · Kyle Ashmead
From October 21 to 24, 2010, Waterlution: A Water Learning Experience, commonly referred to as the "Unconference", was held at the Canadian Water Innovation Lab for young water leaders in Canada, where they learned effective leadership skills.
» Read the full article

James Cameron Tar Sands Press Conference: First Nations speak out
September 29, 2010
First Nations leaders participated in a press conference following a tour of the Alberta tar sands by Avatar director James Cameron. Speakers included former chief George Poitras of the Mikisew Cree First Nation, National Chief Shawn Atleo of the Assembly of First Nations, Chief Lameman of the Beaver Lake Cree Nation, and Gerald Amos of the Coastal First Nations.
» Watch excerpts from the press conference

APTN Investigates: Toxic Overflow Part 1 and Part 2
September 29, 2010
In these video segments, APTN studies the contamination of First Nations by unregulated landfills and dumps, and the risk of groundwater pollution by toxic industrial waste. Part One looks at the problem in the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba. Part Two looks at work being done in Saskatchewan First Nations.
» APTN Investigates: Toxic Overflow Part 1 and Part 2

Photos: Downstream Community Members Hold Healing Walk through Tar Sands Region
September 22, 2010
On Saturday, August 14th the Keepers of the Athabasca, a network of First Nation, Metis and settler community members along the Athabasca river hosted a 'healing walk' through the tar sands. Photo gallery.
» read more

Upper McLeod River Information Session
September 20, 2010
Keepers of the Athabasca will host an information session on the Upper McLeod River at the Red Brick in Edson on September 25, 2010, 9am to 5pm. Topics will include gravel mining in the Athabasca Basin, cumulative effects in headwaters regions, a watershed management plan, and a planning workshop to develop a local watershed group.
» Download the poster 268kb PDF

Keepers of the Athabasca signs letter to Pelosi and Markey
September 10, 2010
The Keepers of the Athabasca and a number of our sister organizations working to protect the Athabasca Watershed have submitted a letter to US Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Edward Markey, Chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. Our letter highlights our concern with the very serious consequences of reliance on Canadian tar sands oil and the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline.
» Letter to Pelosi and Markey 105kb PDF

Annual bird mortality in the bitumen tailings ponds in northeastern Alberta, Canada
September 9, 2010
A new report has been published in The Wilson Journal of Ornithology by Kevin P. Timoney and Robert A. Ronconi, showing annual bird mortality in the bitumen tailings ponds of northeastern Alberta greatly exceeds industry estimates.

Report: Oil sands development contributes elements toxic at low concentrations to the Athabasca River and its tributaries
August 30, 2010
A new report has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Erin N. Kelly, David W. Schindler, Peter V. Hodson and Jeffrey W. Short, linking high levels of toxic pollutants in the Athabasca River system to oilsands mining.

» More news at Keepers of the Water