MOOSE LAKE: OUR COMMITMENT TO PROTECTION
The Moose Lake Area is the last refuge for the community of Fort McKay to exercise its Treaty 8 rights that protect its way of life. Encroaching industrial development in this area is threatening the integrity of Moose Lake Area to sustain Fort McKay’s cultural hunting, fishing, trapping for generations to come
Fort McKay’s historical centre is at the lands surrounding Namur and Gardiner Lakes where it has its largest reserve lands IR174A and 174B. The Reserves and surrounding environs are referred to by the community as “Moose Lake” and the reserves as the “Moose Lake Reserves”.
Fort McKay is the most adversely affected community in the oil sands region with its main settlement community at the centre of the region’s oil sands mines. Fort McKay continues to make the protection of Moose Lake for current and future generations a key priority as over 70% of Fort McKay’s Traditional Territory is leased to oil sands leases. There are more than 20 large-scale industrial projects currently operating in Fort McKay’s Traditional Territory.
The Government of Alberta promised to protect the sacred Moose Lake lands in March of 2015 with the Moose Lake Access Management Plan. This Plan is intended to manage the intensity and timing of development within the lands that surround the Reserves. The Plan remains incomplete.
The plan is currently under negotiations and seeks to protect integrity of the area to continue to serve as a place for the meaningful exercise of Treaty Rights – without sterilizing bitumen – by controlling the pace and intensity of development on lands within 10km of the Moose Lake Reserves.