Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Alberta aboriginal band looks to social media for funds in oilsands fight

EDMONTON - An Alberta aboriginal band is hoping to fund a court fight against the province's oilsands regulator through a plea on the Internet and social media.

The Beaver Lake First Nation filed a lawsuit against the Alberta Energy Regulator this week. Band member Crystal Lameman is hoping to use a crowdsourcing site supported by environmental groups, which include Greenpeace and the Sierra Club, to raise $100,000 to fund the action.

Lameman also works for the Sierra Club.

"I recognized that we need financial support," she said Thursday. "I do not represent my nation in any way. I'm just a citizen doing my part."

Using social media and the Internet to raise money for a cause is becoming increasingly popular. The U.S. web site Crowdrise has raised about $135 million since 2010 for charity.

Lameman previously raised about $33,000 in less than a month to help fund another of the band's court cases against the province.

"It's become sort of the way you raise both money and awareness at the same time," said Susan Smitten of the B.C.-based group Respecting Aboriginal Values and Environmental Needs, which is also involved in the Beaver Lake effort.

"Social media has made that so much more accessible."

The trick to crowdfunding, she said, is generating a crowd.

"Attention spans are short," said Smitten. "Crowdfunding is getting crowded."

The Beaver Lake appeal is being hosted on Smitten's group site.

Beaver Lake Chief Henry Gladue said he wasn't aware of the drive for funds, but he added the band will be glad of any financial support.

"We're a small nation," he said. "We don't have the funds for all we need to do."

Beaver Lake is just starting to get involved in the oilsands industry, he said, and doesn't have the revenues that some other bands do.

"We welcome a little bit of assistance. It's nice to have, for sure, but (the fundraisers) don't really have any say in our case."

Beaver Lake is one of two aboriginal bands that filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Alberta Energy Regulator after it denied them the right to speak at a public hearing on an oilsands project planned for their traditional lands.

The regulator said the band hadn't proved that it would be directly affected. The regulator later cancelled the hearings after none of the groups that hoped to appear was given the right to speak.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Sudden Surge: Flood of 2014
Opportunity Magazine — The Bakken
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media