Brothers Jon and Pete Malcolm have set up a teepee along the Athabasca River in protest of Moccasin Flats, the eviction of at least 12 Indigenous families in the early 1970s.
The riverside community was demolished to allow growth for the oil industry and now houses the Syncrude Towers, leaving the families, including the Malcolms homeless.
Jon said that because his mother married a white man she lost her Indian status so the family didn’t get any compensation when they were evicted.
“We’re saving a nation of people that have been obliterated and pushed aside for the sake of industry and the government. We’ve been robbed of our natural resources and any ability to help ourselves.”
The tee-pee is more than a silent protest for them, it’s a chance to provoke curiosity about the dispute of Moccasin Flats.
Jon said he wants to make the teepee a permanent view in Fort McMurray to show everyone that they’re still here.
The McMurray Métis launched a review of Mocassin Flats earlier this year in hopes to document a timeline of events and the impact it had on the Métis community.
If you or someone you know lived at Moccasin Flats or have firsthand knowledge you’re asked to contact the McMurray Métis at 780-743-2659 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The report is expected to be complete by September 2018.
Mayor Don Scott says bringing the matter before council is another key step.
“We have the issue of Moccasin Flats scheduled to come before council on July 10th at 3 p.m.,” said Mayor Scott. “It’s really part of our obligations and part of our commitment to meet the Truth and Reconciliation recommendations.”
He encourages anyone who has any concerns, who wants to make a presentation or speak about Moccasin Flats to attend the meeting.