This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
5125- 50 Street P.O. Box 2338 Yellowknife, NT, X1A 2P7
Phone: (867) 873-4081 Fax: (867) 920-2254 Toll Free: 1-866-511-4081 Website: www.denenation.com
to Canadian tourism representatives at the ITB Berlin
Nature is our greatest asset: Please join our struggle to preserve it
Dear friend, Berlin, March 8, 2013
My name is Bill Erasmus, Dene National Chief of the Dene Nation in the Northwest Territories in Canada. Our Nation is currently undergoing a transition from hunting and gathering to a wage-based economy and we partly depend, just like you, on tourist coming to our area. At the moment, thousands of visitors from around the world come every year to enjoy the pristine nature of our homelands. We want these tourists to keep coming in the future, we need them for our income and we want to share the natural beauty of our territory with them. But the continuing extraction of tar sands in Alberta and especially the planned expansion is putting this at risk. We are not against economic development in Canada or Alberta, but the tar sands extraction is polluting our rivers, destroying our natural resources and thus the economic basis of our survival – and yours. This is a model of economic development, tied to boom and bust cycles, which will not bring lasting prosperity to our country. What we need is a sustainable economic model for a diversified economy that does not depend on exporting fossil fuels. We want you to understand that the existing proposed tar sands expansion will continue to harm the economic interests of Canada. Canada’s greatest asset is its untouched nature and natural environment, that’s what Canada is known for in the world. But we’re running the risk of losing this image – and with it the visitors. The Canadian government is heavily lobbying European countries to derail European climate change efforts, such as the Fuel Quality Directive aimed at reducing emissions from imported transport fuels. This is wrong; Canada is interfering in the European legislative process and needs to accept the proposed criteria. Environment and climate are our joint responsibility and we need to protect them. For us, for our children and for the tourists we want to come to our home.
“Implementing Treaty & Aboriginal Rights Since 1970”
So please join our struggle to preserve Canada’s natural environment. Here is what you can do. Write a letter about the negative impact tar sands are having to: Tourism Canada Your Member of Parliament The Premier of Alberta, Ms Allison Redford The Prime Minister of Canada, Honourable Stephen Harper
Write a guest editorial or a letter to the editor for a Canadian newspaper. Please get in touch if you want to know more on how tar sands extraction is threatening the Dene and the Canadian economy or want to work together on this important issue. You can visit www.denenation.com and reach me at (867) 873 4081 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bill Erasmus Dene National Chief AFN Regional Chief (NWT)