Woodland Cree First Nations (WCFN) oppose more frac’ing and cumulative harms by Obsidian Energy (caused 5.6M frac quake in 2022, biggest in Alberta history). Of course Genocidal Canadian courts order injunction against WCFN to get out of the way of corporate profit-raping.

Sisu van Hellberta@sisuvanhell May 8, 2024:

The Chief’s brother is a lawyer. They are getting legal advice every step of the way.

Arlene King @Northern_Ozbird May 8, 2024:

Sisu van Hellberta@sisuvanhell:

You do have that correct. They started the camp on Sunday and an injunction was granted by 1 pm Monday, then served by 10 am yesterday. With arrests likely to come any time.

Arlene King@Northern_Ozbird:


Sisu van Hellberta@sisuvanhell:


This is an obscene example of inherent, systemic racism in our Justice system. Less than ONE DAY

Do we need @UN_HRC Francisco Cali Tzay to get involved? @PBIcanada @APTNNews @CSORG @SIRGECoalition @MaryLawlorhrds

#Alberta: where white supremacists & Oil Companies trump decency

sharon r@SharonR_MECFS:

Not sure what the message is.
Posts are not clear.
Does this First Nations want project stopped to protect rights to hunt/fish/gather, cultural events or do they want a share in oil and gas profits?

Sisu van Hellberta@sisuvanhell:

They want negotiations with Obsidian. ie accountability for the earthquakes the company was found to have caused & reassurances that won’t happen again, as well as local contractors/workers being included in forthcoming expansion/development by Obsidian.

sharon r@SharonR_MECFS:

If they are fracking or sending wastewater deep into the earth you can’t stop the earthquakes.


Thank you for the information.

Beyond troubling.

Trying to wrap my brain around the extent of this.




And during a drought where water usages must be prioritized.

@TheBreakdownAB May 5, 2024:

“After serving notice to the Alberta Energy Regulator that Obsidian Energy Ltd.’s planned expansion of wells on their territory cannot proceed, the Woodland Cree First Nation has begun establishing a traditional camp to safeguard the land


How long before the same cops who are so chatty with the anti-tax ditchbillies come in with riot gear?

Genocial racist countries like Israel and Canada have genocidal racist cops specially hired for their love of white supremacy, lies, propaganda, cruelty (notably against Indigenous and women) and bigotry.

Ditch Billies! Too funny. The Pierre Picklehead lovin’ ditchbillies believe his lies that they are losing with the federal carbon tax. Why anyone on earth believes anything Picklehead says, is beyond me. He just lies and lies and lies and lies, and sleazes. I just rec’d my carbon tax rebate letter from the feds, I get annually way more than I pay. Ditchbillies need to do some reading and get better at math.


Canada’s Legal Billy Club: The court injunction; 76% filed against First Nations (FN) by corporations granted; 81% filed by FN against corporations and 82% filed by FN against gov’t denied. Study finds Indigenous rights sacrificed by courts using “public interest” to protect boom & bust resource economies. “Spoiler: it was the political economy of settler-colonial law all along.”

Review of over 100 injunction cases involving First Nations across Canada by Yellowhead Institute in their 2019 report Land Back:

Landback by Yellowhead Institute Report Overview

Woodland Cree First Nation Establishes Traditional Camp to Assert Treaty Rights in the Peace Oil Sands by Susan V Thompson, May 5, 2024, Medium

Woodland Cree First Nation Chief Isaac Laboucan-Avirom at the camp established May 5 to watch for new oil development by Obsidian Energy and to assert treaty rights.

After serving notice to the Alberta Energy Regulator that Obsidian Energy Ltd.’s (TSE: OBE/NYSEAMERICAN:OBE) planned expansion of wells on their territory cannot proceed, the Woodland Cree First Nation (WCFN) has begun establishing a traditional camp to safeguard the land near the South Harmon Valley oilfield in northern Alberta.

Chief Isaac Laboucan-Avirom and members of council were on hand Sunday morning to set up a tipi and establish the camp. WCFN is letting operators and security shut in a nearby oil site to ensure it’s safe to be in the area.

“CEO Stephen Loukas and Obsidian have not met the basic legal requirements necessary to proceed with development on our territory. They refuse to address any of our environmental, health or safety concerns,” WCFN says in a media release.

Obsidian plans to increase production by 12 per cent this year, with the majority of its drilling program in the Peace Oil Tarsands region.

In a 2023 ruling, the Alberta Energy Regulator previously concluded Obsidian caused a series of earthquakes in Woodland Cree territory and beyond by improperly disposing of industrial waste water. AER then issued an order to establish seismic monitoring at the Water Disposal Well located southeast of the Town of Peace River. Obsidian has since appealed that regulatory order.

“We’d like to have an in-depth understanding of what happened, and how do you prevent that,” Laboucan-Avirom says. “How do we know it’s not going to happen again? We don’t know.”

“One thing that we do know is it was produced by Obsidian. That’s a fact.

Obsidian Energy CEO Stephen Loukas said in a previous statement, “We have unfortunately reached a negotiating impasse with WCFN’s senior leadership.”

Chief Laboucan-Aviron says there were never sincere negotiations.

“The definition of a negotiation is conversations between two parties to come up with a collective goal. Having one side say take it or leave it is not negotiations,” he says.

“We have a template, we could make a deal within minutes, weeks, we could have specialists involved. We don’t even know what’s going on yet which is outrageous.

Chief Laboucan-Avirom says there is a lack of trust and respect in their relationship with Obsidian.

“They could definitely make the relationship a lot more sustainable and better — and respectful.”

Chief Laboucan-Aviron says WCFN is not against all oil development, and they have agreements with Baytex and other oil companies.

“We continuously look for these respectful relationship agreements. We had a deal with Shell when they were here, CNRL, we work with everybody,” he says. “For some reason Obsidian is the only one that doesn’t want to work well with us.”

Besides concerns about earthquakes, Chief Laboucan-Aviron says another main sticking point has been Obsidian bringing in contractors and equipment from outside the local community, including from as far away as Rocky Mountain House.

“The Peace area has been quiet for over a decade. Then when we see these economic opportunities, we do want to share in the prosperity.”

He says contractors from local communities like Peace River, Grimshaw, and Nampa should all be included.

“We’re definitely not disturbing the peace,” Chief Laboucan-Aviron says. “We’re not shutting down critical infrastructure.”

“This is saying hey, we’re here, this is our traditional territory where we have birth rights, inherent rights, and treaty rights, and those have been either disrespected or [there is a] lack of understanding.”

RCMP attended the camp on Sunday morning, and brought tobacco as an offer of respect. Chief Laboucan-Aviron says they have a good working relationship with the RCMP and have a tripartate agreement with them.

“We live here. This is our traditional territory,” he says. “We’re not going anywhere until negotiations are complete this time. We just don’t have trust in Obsidian.”

Court Injunction Granted Against Woodland Cree First Nation Camp by Susan V Thompson, May 7, 2024, Medium

A court injunction has been granted against a camp established by the Woodland Cree First Nation. Chief and council say they’re not leaving after formally notifying Obsidian Energy Ltd. they reject new drilling.

Chief Isaac Laboucan-Avirom and council of the Woodland Cree First Nation (WCFN) say a court injunction has been granted against their camp near an Obsidian Energy Ltd. site in the South Harmon Valley oil patch.

Chief and council are waiting to be officially served with the injunction, but they say they’re not leaving willingly. Camp members are preparing to be arrested.

In a press release issued today, WCFN said they are formally notifying Obsidian Energy Ltd. and their shareholders that the proposed expansion of their drilling operations on their Traditional Territory has been rejected by the WCFN and its Chief and Council.

WCFN is known across the energy sector as one of the most business-friendly nations in the province and in the country. We support responsible resource development, and enthusiastically partner with companies that are willing to comply with their legal obligations,” says Chief Isaac Laboucan-Avirom.

Other First Nations have started to arrive at the camp in support. Lubicon Lake Nation and Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation have both raised their flags next to the WCFN flag. Representatives of other nations are expected to arrive soon.

Local contractors from the surrounding area including non-indigenous truckers have also started joining the camp, parking their trucks and equipment along the road.

Two truckers at the camp both say WCFN didn’t ask them to come. Instead their companies offered their support.

The mood at the camp remains jovial but expectant, with people playing horseshoes, cooking dinner and trading stories of past arrests around the fire.

K Division police liaisons from Grande Prairie stopped by for the second time to ensure everything is lawful and there are no incidents, which they are there to mediate if needed. The main road is being kept open so industrial traffic is still able to pass by the camp.

Woodland Cree First Nation Served with Injunction at Camp by Susan V Thompson, Medium

On Tuesday morning, a bailiff attended the camp set up by the Woodland Cree First Nation (WCFN) to assert their treaty rights. Accompanied by police, the bailiff served a court injunction obtained by Obsidian Energy Ltd. (NYSEAMERICAN: OBE) (TSX:OBE ) to Chief Isaac Laboucan-Avirom and members of council.

In a dramatic moment, Chief Laboucan-Avirom and council members cast the legal paperwork into the camp fire, saying they were filing the papers “with the Great Spirit.”

Chief and council say they are now consulting legal counsel to decide their next steps.

The traditional camp was established by WCFN in the South Harmon Valley oilfield outside Peace River, Alberta on Sunday, May 5 to assert their treaty rights as Obsidian prepares to expand drilling operations in the area by 12 per cent. Obsidian is also appealing an AER ruling that the energy company caused several earthquakes in the area by injecting their wastewater into the ground, and WCFN says they are concerned about the potential for future seismic activity.

Chief Laboucan-Avirom has previously said WCFN members are not leaving the camp until negotiations resume with Obsidian. Other First Nations such as the Lubicon Cree Nation and Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation have already joined the camp. Local contractors including Ruel Concrete Ltd. and MDP Oilfield Services Ltd. have also been present and parked equipment at the camp in support.

Camp members have a tipi and traditional meat drying racks set up, and are drying moose meat.

In a written statement from Obsidian’s investor relations, a spokesperson referred to a previous release from February, which says, “we are open to meeting with WCFN senior leadership to further discuss the potential for an agreement.”

“Regardless, Obsidian Energy has the ability to pursue existing regulatory processes to obtain the required permits and licenses to execute on our three-year growth plan. Additionally, we have the flexibility to accelerate other Peace River locations within our extensive portfolio to achieve our growth objectives.”

Regarding the current dispute with WCFN, Obsidian says, “You may wish to note that as per our Environmental, Social and Governance report (excerpt below), less than 1% of our reserves are in or near Indigenous lands. WCFN does not have a veto right, only a requirement for consultation regarding development on traditional lands.”

“Any of our planned development that involves WCFN is on traditional lands, and there is a well-established regulatory process for obtaining licenses and permits on these lands (as we stated in the release). As per our release, we have employed the WCFN for services and consulted with them on a number of matters over the years, including agreeing to meet with them to discuss any environmental, health and safety concerns.”

Treaty 8 Grand Chief Arthur Noskey joined the camp in the afternoon to offer support t Chief Labucan-Avirom and council, raising a Treaty 8 flag alongside the three other First Nations flags already planted at the camp.

Grand Chief Noskey says it’s important to think about the many long term impacts of oil and gas projects.

“I think we need to do some serious consideration as First Nations people. Maybe this is what we need to do all across Treaty 8 to bring the governments to the table to talk seriously,” says Chief Noskey.

“We’re trying to push for the governments, and the oil and gas industry, if you’re the principle cause of the issue, the earthquakes, then you’d better do some backtracking and you’d better do some resolution with all people that are impacted.”

First Nation protest camp in northern Alberta served with court injunction by Wallis Snowdon, May 8, 2024, CBC News

Protesters occupying a camp established by a First Nation in northern Alberta to defy drilling operations on its traditional lands have been ordered to vacate.

The camp — a tipi and tents flanked by rows of trucks lining the road 75 kilometres east of Peace River, Alta. — is Woodland Cree First Nation’s latest effort to oppose Obsidian Energy’s expansion plans.

The camp is the latest development in an increasingly tense conflict between Woodland Cree and Obsidian after the operator was blamed for a string of earthquakes in the region.

The First Nation says it is owed meaningful consultation and final authority over what industrial development occurs on its traditional lands. Company officials say it has consulted with the WCFN and the Indigenous community has no such veto rights.Wrong Obsidian, that’s based on earth and community raping old white man law, not Indigenous Law.

The camp was established Sunday near the Harmon Valley South field in Peace River, immediately south of Woodland Cree First Nation — cutting off an access road to Obsidian lease sites.

Protesters are now under orders to leave. Obsidian company officials were granted an injunction Monday in the Court of King’s Bench against the Woodland Cree First Nation and people occupying the camp.

‘We’re intending to stay’

Chief Isaac Laboucan-Avirom was formally served notice by a court bailiff who arrived at the camp the following morning. The court injunction prohibits protesters from intimidating workers and from blocking access to the drill sites. RCMP may be called in to enforce the order if the court determines that police assistance is needed.

As of Wednesday morning, around 80 people remained at the camp.

Laboucan-Avirom said the community will continue to assert their rights. The camp will remain until negotiations with Obsidian resume, he said.

“We’re intending to stay,” Laboucan-Avirom told CBC News in an interview Tuesday evening. “This is our traditional land.”

Laboucan-Avirom said his members are concerned about the cumulative impacts on their traditional lands and the risk of additional industry-caused earthquakes if Obsidian’s drilling operations intensify.

“If they want to work in our territory, they’re going to have to do that work with respect for the people and the land,” he said.

The First Nation community has repeatedly called on the Calgary-based company to halt its expansion plans. WCFN initially raised concerns about the company’s activities on their territory four months ago.

In February, the First Nation erected its first protest camp, urging Obsidian company officials to address a series of earthquakes in the region in 2022 and 2023. The Alberta Energy Regulator found that Obsidian had caused the seismic events by disposing of industrial wastewater underground.

The protests had resolved but after talks between the company and First Nation broke down, and plans for an expansion ramped up, the new camp was established by band members.

Obsidian produces around 6,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day, or 20 per cent of its total production, from assets in the Peace River region, some of which are within Woodland Cree territory.

Laboucan-Avirom said the First Nation wants to work with industry but Obsidian has not complied with its legal obligations. The First Nation is seeking legal advice on next steps if Obsidian doesn’t engage in negotiations, he said.

“I’d rather work with industry and the provincial governments, but if they’re forcing me into a corner, I will have to [pursue] a legal challenge.”

‘Unrealistic terms’

An environmental protection order issued by the AER in March, 2023 blamed the company’s operations for inducing a string of seismic events in the region and ordered the company to improve its monitoring and mitigation plans.

Obsidian is appealing the environmental protection order and a review is pending. In a statement to CBC, company officials say operations continue to comply with all regulatory obligations.That assures plenty of harms under and above ground; regulation in Canada is an environment and community raping farce.

“We have unfortunately reached a negotiating impasse with WCFN’s senior leadership,” Stephen Loukas, Obsidian’s president and chief executive officer said in a statement.

“Obsidian Energy has informed WCFN’s senior leadership that we cannot accept their unrealistic terms that amount to a monopolistic relationship.”

Loukas said the company is open to meeting with WCFN leadership. But regardless of the outcome,the company can pursue existing regulatory approvals to proceed with expansion in the region, he said.

“WCFN does not have a veto right, only a requirement for consultation regarding development on traditional lands … We have employed the WCFN for services and consulted with them on a number of matters over the years, including agreeing to meet with them to discuss any environmental, health and safety concerns.”

RCMP have described the camp as peaceful. In an interview, RCMP Cpl. Mathew Howell said police are hoping the protest will resolve before they’re called to enforce the order.

Laboucan-Avirom is hopeful too that arrests can be avoided.

“I’d rather get this resolved sooner than later,” he said. “But we will be out here as long as we have to.”

Canadian First Nation rejects Obsidian Energy drilling expansion plans by Nia Williams, Reuters, May 6, 2024

Obsidian Energy LtdMay 6 (Reuters) – Canada’s Woodland Cree First Nation has rejected oil and gas producer Obsidian Energy’s (OBE.TO) proposal to expand drilling operations on its traditional territory, the Indigenous community said in a statement on Monday.


The formal notice that Woodland Cree’s chief and council have rejected Obsidian’s drilling plans mark a further breakdown in relations, after the First Nation initially raised concerns about the company’s activities on their territory in northern Alberta in February.

The community urged Obsidian to address their concerns about a series of earthquakes in their territory in late 2022 and early 2023, that regulators said Obsidian were responsible for.


Calgary-based Obsidian produces around 6,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), or 20% of its total production, from assets in the Peace River region, some of which are within Woodland Cree territory.


Obsidian shares were last down 0.4% at C$10.90 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Analysts at brokerage Stifel said that while the rejection would not have a meaningful impact on Obsidian’s short-term outlook, because the company already had well licenses in hand, it was not ideal for longer-term plans in the region.


Obsidian did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Refer also to:

2024 02 14: Nearly a year after AER orders Obsidian Energy to come up with a plan *in 15 days* to mitigate its massive earthquakes, the company reportedly still refuses to address Woodland Cree First Nation’s concerns or meet with them. Where’s the self-regulator? Oh right, Obsidian regulates itself, does what it wants, impacted neighbours be damned.

2023 03 30: Another AER agent not to trust: Industry rep at AGS, Rebecca Salvage, quickly blamed nature for 5.6M biggest (industry induced) earthquake in Alberta’s history; includes snide “comments” and big winded promises by Obsidian, quake-maker

2023: George Rammel’s judicial satire sculpture: “Chambers of Predetermined Outcomes / Gatekeepers of Justice” unveiled with a dinosaur landing aptly on BC Chief Justice Robert Bauman’s head during the performance!

2023 03 23: Gong Show! Oil and gas industry self-regulator, AER, after blaming nature, “regulates” Obsidian Energy *only* because researchers make their study public on the 2022 damaging, record-breaking 5.6M industry-induced earthquake at Peace River, and media, including Tyee, reported on it. Corrupt AER cowards led by just another scandal-ridden old white “dickhead.” Obsidian shares fell 4% by morning.

2019: Another Alberta Frac Incident? 400,000-litre spill by Obsidian Energy near Drayton Valley, private land and wetland impacted

2019: Recognizing multiple legal systems: Decolonizing our understandings of “The” Law with Val Napoleon, indigenous scholar and law professor, being reminded to never think of Canada’s legal system as “the only” legal system.

This entry was posted in Global Frac News, Other Legal. Bookmark the permalink.