Woodland Cree First Nation supports Bill-69 challenge
Alberta has approved the first grant through it’s Indigenous Litigation Fund, giving Woodland Cree First Nation $187,688 grant to intervene in support of the province’s constitutional challenge of Bill C-69, the Impact Assessment Act.
“I am pleased to work with Chief Isaac Laboucan-Avirom of the Woodland Cree First Nation to announce the latest steps in enhancing the voices of First Nations in Alberta to stand up for their own interests,” says Kenney. “The Indigenous Litigation Fund will help Indigenous communities protect their legal right to participate in and benefit from the development of the resources underneath the lands they have called home for generations.”
The $10-million Indigenous Litigation Fund backs Indigenous-led legal action challenging federal legislation that hinders major energy projects in Alberta. It also presents a new way for the provincial and Indigenous governments to strengthen their relationships.
“With today’s announcement, we see the completion of a promise made and promise kept. The Indigenous Litigation Fund will support responsible resource development to move forward and, more importantly, ensure Indigenous voices are heard in standing up for Alberta,” says Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations.
For many Indigenous communities in Alberta, responsible natural resource development presents an important economic stream to keep people working and funds flowing back to support community-level social and economic programs.