|Benefit to be held in Vancouver BC|
Compelling oral record of the traditional use of the land and the development of the current conflict: May 2011
CLFN by Louiseclaire
“This land holds historical and spiritual significance for the Dene Suline people. This is the area where we hold ceremony, where we gather berries and traditional medicines, it holds the grave sites of my ancestors and archaeological artefacts that date back over 4,000 years. That is worth far more than an RV park,” said Dene Suline and peace camp member Carrie Lawrence. “We have erected this peace camp to ensure we can continue to practice our spiritual, cultural and treaty rights. Right’s are more important than RV’s. ...
“We call on the Government of Alberta to respect the rights and requests of the Dene Suline people,” asserted Lawrence. “Many of us are willing to risk arrest to peacefully protect our traditional territory and the rights of the Dene Suline people but we wish the government would just listen to reason and put this RV camp somewhere else.”
~ Cold Lake Occupation: All Eyes on Dene Suline Peace Camp, June 2011, ndn media
The contested campground has existed since the 1950s, but the provincial government began work on expanding and redeveloping the area in 2006. The original redevelopment was stopped soon after it began, when historical artifacts were found.The redevelopment was on hold until earlier this year, when Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation got the go-ahead to continue.“This is the area where we hold ceremony, where we gather berries and traditional medicines, it holds the grave sites of my ancestors. That is worth far more than an RV park,” Lawrence said.
~ June 2011, Global TV Edmonton