No Coal Mines on Niitsitapi Land

The headwaters of  Naapihtaa (the Oldman River) are under threat due to the incoming coal development projects in the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains.  

Aohkii iihtaipatapiiyop - Water is life

Water is sacred, as it is the source of all life for all living things. Without clean water all life will perish.

Today - the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) are faced with a crisis and violent attack on our people - and we need your help. Niitsitapi Water Protectors are currently up against the provincial and federal governments to protect their traditional territory.  We are working to stop ALL open-pit coal development in the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. 

The Issue
Without any consultation with First Nations  the Alberta UCP government rescinded the Coal Development Policy put in place in 1976 by Premiere Peter Lougheed. This policy change was effective June 1st, 2020.  As a result, 1.5 million hectares of formerly protected environmentally sensitive lands along the Eastern Slopes of the Rocky Mountains and 600,000 hectares of Alberta’s headwaters including the Oldman River, are now open for exploration, and the potential development of open pit coal mining.

Additionally - The Grassy Mountain Coal Project; a proposed 28sq km mine located in the Crowsnest pass is in the final stages of approval by the federal government. This project has gone through a years-long regulatory process. The final approval on this project is to be announced in late 2021.  This project - like many - is moving forward without community consultation or  consent by the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot). 

Grassy Mountain is the  first of many proposed mines in Blackfoot territory.  These coal mines will have lasting impacts on the quality and quantity of water available in Southern Alberta.

The removal of the 1976 Coal Policy and the Grassy Mountain coal project put our water, land and cultural well-being at risk! The Nations of the Blackfoot Confederacy; including the Kainai (Blood), the Peigan (Piikani) and Siksika (Blackfoot), all rely on the Oldman River watershed and eastern slopes for sustenance, life and cultural well-being. 

The Oldman River watershed also provides drinking water to over 267,000 Albertans and flows right into the Hudson Bay. Help secure clean water for the Niitsitapi and ALL people down stream. 

The Blackfoot Confederacy and other First Nations of Southern Alberta have strong connections to the Oldman River beyond just using it for drinking and farming usage.  These projects pose a serious threat to the health, livelihood, spiritual wellbeing and cultural preservation of First Nations in the area. These coal projects are also a violation of treaty and are a violent attack on first nations rights, title and way of life. 

All donations collected go towards the protection of water and land in traditional Blackfoot Territory.  All funds raised are allocated to the Niitsitapi Water Protectors (NWP). Funds will be used to cover long-term community engagement, education strategies, working with elders and knowledge keepers, print materials /highway signs/billboards, media engagement and legal actions when necessary.

Niitsitapi Water Protectors is a grassroots Indigenous let collective of Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) water and land defenders who are working to protect the water and land within the traditional Blackfoot territory.



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Latasha Calf Robe 
Calgary, AB
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