Fort McKay Métis Nation and Willow Lake Métis Nation will receive more than $372,000 through the Indigenous Litigation Fund to begin a constitutional challenge of the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act.

“Alberta’s government stands with Fort McKay and Willow Lake Métis Nations in defending their vital economic interests and protecting their ability to develop their resources. Indigenous communities already face more barriers to economic security than other communities in Alberta, and this litigation fund grant helps those communities fight back. We are committed to economic reconciliation and together we can stand up against discriminatory federal legislation and be true partners in prosperity.”

Jason Kenney, Premier

“The Oil Tanker Moratorium Act makes it harder for First Nations and Métis people to set up long-term economic development projects. The Indigenous Litigation Fund is one more way Alberta’s government is working with Indigenous communities to support economic decisions, leading to a better future for generations to come.”

Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations

The Indigenous Litigation Fund backs Indigenous-led legal actions challenging federal legislation that hinders major energy projects in Alberta. It also presents a new opportunity for provincial and Indigenous governments to strengthen relationships.

“Métis people in Alberta want to be active participants in responsible natural resource development for the benefit of our communities and all Albertans. We want to remove legislation that we believe affects our rights and slows the delivery of resources to overseas markets.”

Justin Bourque, vice-president and CEO, Willow Lake Métis Nation

“The tanker ban prevents Indigenous people from playing a role in the development of major energy projects and the development of our communities. We are pushing for fair access to markets. This fund may help us open the door wider for resource development for Métis people and other Albertans.”

Ron Quintal, president, Fort McKay Métis Nation

The Oil Tanker Moratorium Act stops oil tankers carrying crude and persistent oils, such as fuel oils and lubricating oils, from stopping, loading or unloading at ports or marine installations in northern British Columbia, making it harder for Alberta to get oil to overseas markets.

Quick facts

  • This is the second Indigenous Litigation Fund grant.
    • The first grant was provided to the Woodland Cree First Nation for legal action against Bill C-69, which changed how major infrastructure projects are reviewed and approved in Canada, including the environmental assessment process.