Athabasca Tribal Council (ATC) pledged its support for Fort McKay First Nation in its fight to preserve Moose Lake.
In a statement, ATC board president, Chief Allan Adam said Moose Lake is the last significant wilderness in the First Nation’s territory.
“Preserving the wilderness that allows our people to exercise their Treaty and Aboriginal rights is very important. Our people rely on the land for food, medicine, and ceremonial plants and animals, and is vitally essential.”
Fort McKay First Nation and the Alberta government agreed to hold discussions on a plan to protect the area
The First Nation’s Chief Mel Grandjamb announced weekly discussions would take place over a 90-day period.
Chief Adam also said Moose Lake, which the ancestors of Fort McKay inhabited for a thousand years, is essential for traditional culture and way of life.
He added the ATC would support Fort McKay First Nation in their efforts to ensure Treaty rights.
“The Chiefs and full organization of the Athabasca Tribal Council stand with our brothers and sisters of Fort McKay First Nation in their efforts to ensure these lands remain protected. We are committed to supporting Chief Grandjamb and all members of Fort McKay First Nation.”
Chief Mel Grandjamb held the Moose Lake Together Summit with the Alberta government in Edmonton on Jan. 31, 2020.