THE HAGUE, Netherlands, May 21, 2013 /CNW/ - Today members of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) and the Native Village of Point Hope, Alaska attended the Royal Dutch Shell AGM to confront the chairman and board over Shell's decision to pursue highly risky 'extreme energy' projects without adequate consultation and accommodation of Indigenous communities. Projects such as Arctic off-shore drilling and Canadian tar sands will have little long-term benefit for the company, and expose it to reputational damage, political and financial risk, including litigation.
The ACFN assert that current tar sands projects violate terms of treaty, destroy lands and contaminate waters critical to cultural survival. Eriel Deranger, member and communications coordinator of the ACFN, attended the AGM: "Today I brought forward our concerns to Shell's Board about current and proposed tar sands projects and the lack of adequate consultation. If Shell continues to move forward in project development without working directly with our community it will continue to lead toward more delays in project approvals, litigation and severe financial risk for Shell."
Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands (REDOIL) representative and member of the Inupiat Tribal community of Point Hope, Alaska, Mae Hank attended the AGM to bring forward concerns regarding Shell's Arctic offshore drilling activities. Litigation, along with several other incidents has helped slow the rush to drill in the Arctic but the Tribal communities remained concerned Shell has not heeded these warnings. "Shell has stated that despite their current "pause" in their Arctic offshore Alaska activities, the company is committed to drill there again in the future," she said. "As an Inupiat Mother and Grandmother, I strongly oppose this plan, as do a majority of Inupiat. There is still no viable spill plan in place not only for cleaning up spills but how the company will compensate our community for the loss of food and food security."
The delegation will meet later this week with Investment managers from the global financial and banking sector to discuss the risks posed by investing in such high risk projects such as Shell corporation's Arctic Offshore and Canadian Tar Sands ventures.
SOURCE: POLARIS INSTITUTE
For further information:
Chief Allan Adam, ACFN (780)713-1220
Faith Gemmill, Executive Director REDOIL (907) 750-0188
Suzanne Dhaliwal, UK Tar Sands Network
Eriel Deranger, Communications Coordinator, ACFN
Mae Hank, REDOIL Spokesperson & Inupiat community member from Point Hope, Alaska