Saskatchewan

Students examine northern soil for oil sands residue

Students from La Loche, in northwest Saskatchewan, are taking part in studies which may determine if residue from oil sands operations are having an effect on the environment in their community.

Students from La Loche, in northwest Saskatchewan, are taking part in studies which may determine if residue from oil sands operations are having an effect on the environment in their community.

The students have spent a week at the Canadian Light Source Synchrotron in Saskatoon, a sophisticated research tool.

The students are studying lichen and soil samples from near La Loche.

Alexis St. Pierre, a grade 12 student, said the information gleaned will be important to the community.

"Because we eat wild food and ... it might have an effect on us," St. Pierre said.

"We can find out what's wrong with the environment, if anything is wrong," St. Pierre added. "If we have something in our water we can try and prevent it. If we have something in our soil [or] our trees we can try and prevent it."

La Loche is about 516 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon.

It is about 122 kilometres east of Fort McMurray, Alberta, the hub of oil sands industry.