Lesser told stories from flood-hit aboriginal Alberta
And architect Douglas Cardinal unveils a new design
Tim Querengesser is senior editor with Alberta Venture. He once snowmobiled to the Arctic Ocean to interview a guy in elf shoes about reindeer. Really. Peace Pipe is his critical look at the intersection between Indigenous peoples and industry. Email Tim
by Tim Querengesser
Top news: As of Monday, June 24, more than 1,000 people on the Siksika First Nation Reserve, east of Calgary, had been forced from their homes by the flooding Bow River – part of the wider flooding that has decimated much of southern Alberta in recent days. But many people in Siksika felt they had been overlooked in the media reporting on the disaster, which focused on Calgary, High River and other communities. “It was all about the Saddledome, they forgot about us,” Sally Fox, a Siksika resident, told the CBC on Monday. But just one day later, CTV is reporting that badly needed donations have started rushing into Siksika. Nonetheless, supplies still needed include womens’ and mens’ clothing, fresh water and diapers.
Little Buffalo: Also tied to the flooding story is the delayed cleanup of a 5,000-litre oil spill from a pipeline operated by Penn West Exploration in northern Alberta, near the Lubicon Cree community of Little Buffalo. The spill was reported this week (Penn West described it, somewhat tone-deafly, as a “produced water release”), and cleanup efforts have been hampered by the more immediate threat posed by flooding in the southern portion of the province. Just last week, this blog reported that the Lubicon had been pushed by a far larger spill in 2011 to seek a reserve and $700 million in revenues from the oil industry through a lawsuit, making the timing of this spill rather interesting on several levels. Lubicon officials told the Edmonton Journal that they believe the spill, located about 25 kilometres from Little Buffalo, is larger than is being reported.
Edmonton: Renowned architect Douglas Cardinal has released renditions of a proposed $40-million Indigenous Centre for Art and Knowledge, the central piece of some $85-million in projects proposed aimed at raising aboriginal inclusion and dignity in Edmonton.
Canada: Shell is investing $1.83 million over three years into scholarships and bursaries for aboriginal students, through Indspire, an aboriginal charitable organization working with aboriginal youth on advancing education.