Thunderchild band members protest oil drilling plans – Idle No More

By CBC News

A fight is unfolding on a Saskatchewan First Nation where a group of protesters are trying to stop a drilling operation on their land.

A group of band member from Thunderchild First Nation, a reserve located near North Battleford, Sask., has been camping out on what they call the “Sundance grounds” since Sunday.

The reserve’s chief has approved the oil drilling, but band members said they’ve only learned of the plans a few days ago.

They said traditions have been practiced on the land, now it’s a potential site for oil drilling, for many years, along with celebrations of culture.

Now, they’re protesting to stop the drilling project because they say they haven’t been consulted.

“It’s money at the expense of our values, customs, traditions, ceremonies, on our ceremonial lands,” said Eldon Okanee, one of the band members. “No. There’s gotta be a point where you can’t cross, and I think they’ve crossed it.”

While work on the project is on hold, preparations are underway — seismic charges can be felt in the area, with a loud bang through the ground.

The protesters maintain that the oil drilling plans are a sign of corporate greed, and say they’ll remain on the land for as long as it takes.