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Dene Tha' to take MacKenzie pipeline to court

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May 8, 2006

Dene Tha' to take MacKenzie pipeline to court

by Van Ferrier

A Dene First Nation in Alberta is going to federal court to block one of the biggest energy projects in Alberta's history–-the giant Mackenzie Valley pipeline--reports CBC News. The Dene Tha' say they weren't properly consulted about the project and are worried the gas pipeline will ruin their way of life.

According to Briarpatch Magazine, the pipeline system will traverse protected wildlife sanctuaries, disturbing migratory patterns and traditional hunting areas. These developments will contribute to the deterioration of cultures that depend on the land.

The Dene Tha' have long been resisting attempts to subvert their sovereignty in the North. Today, many Dene Tha' are questioning the entire process of industrializing their land for the benefit of southern oil companies.

Tom Laviolette, a local resident of Hay River Northwest Territories was quoted in Briarpatch. "If this pipeline goes ahead then our people are not only going to suffer from not being able to hunt, fish and trap on our land; we will eventually lose control of our land. It will be destroyed by oil and mining companies."


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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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