'A scary thing': Sask. First Nation concerned over Husky oil spill impact
FSIN chief doubts estimates of amount spilled and cleaned up
Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Chief Bobby Cameron believes the amount of oil spilled into the North Saskatchewan River last summer is far higher than Husky Energy will admit.
Cameron said more oil was discovered in the water by Red Pheasant Cree Nation members. He said they expect to find more problems with the water, the fish and the land as time passes.
"Industry and all the environmental experts are not going to be able to measure all the oil that has seeped into the ground and all the roots of the trees and the willows and everything has sucked up," said Cameron. "You can't measure that stuff."
Red Pheasant Chief Clint Wuttunee said he's anxious to see results in the coming weeks from some testing done by First Nations-hired experts.
"People harvest fish and wild game on that shoreline. If the animals and plants are affected, it's going to affect the human population as well," Wuttunee said.
"That's a scary thing to have to deal with."
More testing to be done
Husky Energy spokesperson Mel Duval said the company, the provincial government and an independent investigator all pegged the spill volume at 225 cubic metres.
Duvall said approximately 210 cubic metres of oil has been recovered.
We're a kind people, we're a humble people, and we want to work together.- Bobby Cameron, chief, Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations
Regular sampling has taken place in several areas and none has exceeded acceptable levels for aquatic life or human consumption in 2017, a government official said.
The official said several new measures are being taken, too. There will be helicopter and canine support for identifying problem areas.
More testing will also be conducted in the coming days. Red Pheasant and other government officials have been invited to attend the assessment.
Cameron wants meeting
Cameron is hoping the new CEO of Husky Energy, Robert Peabody, will meet with him and other First Nation leaders. Cameron said Peabody owes First Nations people a face-to-face explanation.
"So this is a message and a shout-out to the CEO of Husky oil: Come meet with us. Discuss with us. We're a kind people, we're a humble people, and we want to work together," Cameron said.