Canada’s Indigenous Community Voices Opposition to Fracking

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Canada’s Indigenous Community Voices Opposition to Fracking A native community in Canada’s Nova Scotia province, the Mi’Kmaq, said they won’t allow any fracking activities in their areas, according to their representatives. The Native Council of Nova Scotia have recently held consultations with the province’s committee of experts on fracking and made their stance known.

In a strongly-worded statement, the representatives said that they “oppose the practice of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas in Nova Scotia.” Failure to respect their position will result in protests, said Chief Rufus Copage, who leads the Sipekne’katik band that is the second-largest in the province.

Copage’s community mostly expressed reservations about accessibility to clean drinking water as fracking needs a lot of local water, reported the Herald. The Nova Scotia’s Mi’Kmaq community has strong land rights, which they never gave up when they agreed on a political deal with the white settlers. This title rights extend to the right to profit from and control the land, a claim that isn’t yet to be upheld in court.

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Similar claims in Alberta and British Columbia ruled that aborigines hold title rights, including to minerals underneath the ground, in the Supreme Court of Canada. For instance, the B.C.’s Tsilhqot’in First Nation had their claim over a 1,750 sq km land confirmed by the country’s highest court.

This makes it very difficult, and even impossible, for energy firms to conduct drilling activities on the community’s land, which has huge reserves of shale gas, without its permission.

However, some Canadian experts say the Mi’Kmaq are likely to be open to consultations in some areas such as water rights. For example, the community would need to be engaged if an energy firm decides to source water for its fracking activities in a lake or river where the community has a right to fish. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.

To contact the reporter of this story; Jonathan Millet at john@forexminute.com