Dehcho leaders vote to ban fracking in traditional territory

Grand Chief Herb Norwegian says the Dehcho First Nations passed a resolution last week to ban fracking on their 215,000 square kilometre traditional territory.

Dene and Métis leaders in Dehcho passed resolution to ban fracking on 215,000 km territory last week

Dehcho First Nations Grand Chief Herb Norwegian says Dene and Metis leaders took a 'strong stand' against fracking by passing a resolution to ban the practice in their traditional territory. (CBC)
Dene and Métis leaders in the Northwest Territories' Dehcho region have voted to ban fracking on their traditional lands, passing a resolution during a meeting last week.
The traditional territory of the Dehcho First Nations, outlined in blue, spans 215,000 square kilometres. (Dehcho First Nations)

The resolution states that fracking can not happen within the 215,000 square kilometre traditional territory of the Dehcho, which stretches from the west point of Great Slave Lake through the Nahanni National Park Reserve near the Yukon border, and as far north as Wrigley.

Grand Chief Herb Norwegian says the territorial government never consulted with the Dehcho while it was drafting its proposed hydraulic fracturing regulations, adding that people cried out against the practice at a recent public meeting in Fort Simpson.

"Total rejection of everything about it," said Norwegian of the mood at the meeting. "Bring the 'f-word' to the forefront, and of course people objected to it. 

"And the leaders had a discussion about that. And they took a very strong stand."

The Dehcho First Nations are still negotiating their land claim with the territorial government. In March, Norwegian accused the government of giving the group of Dene and Métis nations an ultimatum, saying they were asking them to accept a land claim settlement even though the government hadn't actually negotiated anything with them.

The two groups went back to the table to resolve the impasse in late April.

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