Neil Young and friends to launch tour Sunday in Toronto to raise awareness for First Nations legal defence against oil sands development

Neil Young and Diana Krall will be touring this week, starting today, in support of the the  Athabasca Chipewyan First Nations legal defence fund. Here are the details:

Neil Young and friends to launch tour Sunday in Toronto to raise awareness for First Nations legal defense against oil sands development

TORONTO — Neil Young will launch a four-city tour this Sunday in Toronto to raise money and awareness for the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Legal Defense Fund, which is challenging oil companies and governments that are obstructing First Nations’ rights as they attempt to expand development of the oil sands.

The “Honor The Treaties” concert dates will be preceded by a 1PM press conference at the venue (1) featuring Mr. Young, environmentalist David Suzuki, representatives from the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (AFCN), including Chief Allan Adam (2), and members of the science community. Diana Krall will also perform on each of the following dates.

Sun Jan 12 Toronto, Massey Hall
Thur Jan 16 Winnipeg, Centennial Concert Hall
Fri Jan 17 Regina, Conexus Arts Centre
Sun Jan 19 Calgary, Jack Singer Concert Hall

“We are honoured that Neil Young and Diana Krall are standing with ACFN during this crucial time. Our struggle to preserve the Athabasca Delta isn’t about us but for all Canadians who care about protecting our lands,” said ACFN spokesperson Eriel Deranger.

Chief Adam will join Mr. Young throughout the week and is available for interviews. He will be blogging about his tour experiences and ACFN’s legal challenges at drawtheline.ca.

ACFN is raffling off two tickets to the January 19 concert in Calgary to anyone who donates $75 or more to the ACFN legal defense fund. The winner will be selected on January 16 and donations are being accepted at http://www.honourtheacfn.ca.

Background on the ACFN

The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) is situated on the frontlines of tar sands industrial development – perhaps the largest-scale industrial development in human history. ACFN members are witnessing the rapid and wide-scale industrialization of their traditional lands – lands that have sustained ACFN communities, their culture and distinctive way of life for countless generations.

The ACFN’s legal challenges will ensure the protection of their traditional lands, eco-systems and unique rights guaranteed by Treaty 8, the last and largest of the nineteenth century land agreements between First Nations and the Government of Canada, are upheld for the benefit of future generations.

Current legal issues

The ACFN is one of the leading participants in the regulatory hearing process for Shell Oil’s proposed Pierre River Mine (200,000 bpd mine) which would significantly impact lands, water, wildlife and the First Nation’s ability to utilize their traditional territory. It is also challenging the approval of Shell Oil Canada Ltd’s Jackpine Mine Expansion project (300,000 bpd mine) and have recently filed for a Judicial review of the federal decision to approve the project.

The ACFN have also filed a statutory review of the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan, an Alberta land use plan that prioritizes “bitumen recovery” allowing to industry to continue business and does nothing to include nor protect Treaty Rights and tradition uses.

 

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