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Apr 17

This Week: Canadian Tribal Leader Tour to Spotlight Cost of Tar Sands Oil For Michigan, Sarnia

Western Canada’s Oil Flows to the Straits of Mackinac, Detroit, Battle Creek and Ontario Impacting Public Health, Environment

During a tour next week through Sarnia, southwest Detroit, Battle Creek and Grand Rapids, Beaver Lake Cree Nation tribal leader Crystal Lameman will travel to Michigan and Ontario, joining other speakers in shining a spotlight on how tar sands mining in her Alberta homeland is devastating lives and threatening the environment at its source in the western reaches of Canada to impacting public health and our environment throughout Michigan and the Great Lakes region from the Straits of Mackinac, the Kalamazoo River and southwest Detroit to Ontario.   Lameman brings her message to Michigan and Ontario:  The Real Costs of Oil: The Case for Justice at the Ends of the Pipeline.

Who:
Beaver Lake Cree Nation leader Crystal Lameman, Council of Canadians, Aamjiwnaang First Nation, Windsor on Watch, 48217 Citizens Group, Sierra Club, Michigan Native American Lee Sprague, West Michigan Environmental Action Council, Wege Foundation.

What:
Crystal Lameman and others will spotlight the human and environmental impacts of tar sands mining, the largest industrial project in the world with devastating consequences for people from western Canada to Michigan and Ontario.

When:
Monday, April 18 through Friday, April 22, 2016.

Where:
7pm Monday, April 18.   Aamjiwnaang First Nation Community Center, 1972 Virgil Avenue, Sarnia, ON, CAN.   Contact:  Vanessa Gray 226-349-6073.

6:45pm Tuesday, April 19. New Mount Herman Baptist Church, 3225 S. Deacon Street, Detroit, MI.  Contact:  Rhonda Anderson 313-965-0052/Jan O’Connell 616-956-6646

10:15am Wednesday, April 20.  Native Rice Restoration with Lee Sprague, Michigan Native American.  Historic Bridge Park South Wattles Road, Battle Creek, MI.  Contact:  Lee Sprague 231-373-2457.

4pm Thursday, April 21. 20th Annual Wege Speaker Series with Crystal Lameman, Aquinas College Performing Arts Center, 1703 Robinson Road S.E., Grand Rapids.   Contact:  Jill Armstrong  616-862-5624

11:30pm-1pm Friday, April 22.  Grand Rapids Brewing Co., 1 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI. Lunch & Learn with Crystal Lameman. Doors open at 11:30am.  *Lunch not provided.  Contact Rachel Hood 616-822-0700

 

Background

Crystal Lameman is a member of the Beaver Lake Cree Nation, whose homeland is the site of the massive “tar sands” oil development in Alberta, Canada.

The indigenous people of the Beaver Lake Cree Nation live in an area of forest the size of Switzerland and, based on their Treaty of 1876, enjoy legal rights to hunt, fish and trap in their territory, as their ancestors have done for generations.

In 2008, the Nation launched a Treaty Rights litigation against the Canadian government, claiming that the 19,000+ fossil fuel projects in their territory violate their treaty rights and threaten to destroy their way of life by polluting and fragmenting the land and water that have sustained them for centuries. Lameman, who serves as the Intergovernmental Affairs and Industry Relations Treaty Coordinator and Communications Manager for the Nation, combines her academic background and her indigenous ways of knowing to articulate the devastating impacts of the largest industrial project in the world.

A  Newsweek cover story this month documented the scourge of asthma and other health impacts in southwest Detroit near the Marathon Petroleum Refinery.  Major public attention is also on the safety of the oil pipeline running underneath the Straits of Mackinac and to proposals to ship tar sands-derived oil on the Great Lakes.  Meanwhile, First Nation tribes have been protesting pollution from oil refineries in Sarnia, Ontario. Less attention has been paid to the environmental and human costs of tar sands production at the locations of the mines. Lameman will deepen the understanding of what is happening at the source as she speaks about her people’s fight for justice on the front lines.

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