Montréal/Tiohtià:ke | Traditional, unceded lands of the Kanien’kehá:ka/Mohawk Nation, a gathering place for many First Nations, including the Anishinaabeg – On Dec 15 at 10:00 AM ET, Environmental Defence and Keepers of the Water will be holding a press briefing at COP15 about the current and looming threats the tar sands tailings pose to the biodiversity of the Peace-Athabasca Delta, the second-largest freshwater delta in the world. Speakers include a Mikisew Cree First Nation representative, various Indigenous experts from Keepers of the water, and other science and policy experts. 

The tar sands tailings “ponds” are immense lakes of toxic waste generated by oil companies that continue to scar the Northern Alberta landscape at an unparalleled scale. The briefing will cover the specific ways in which the tailings ponds act as a major contributor to biodiversity loss. Experts will also address the oil industry’s new push to release “treated” tailings fluids into the Athabasca and the threat this poses to ecosystems and Indigenous Nations downstream of the tar sands. 

More information can be found here: https://environmentaldefence.ca/report/50-years-of-sprawling-tailings/ 

WHAT: Press Briefing on Tar Sands Toxic Tailings: Canada’s largest and growing industrial footprint.

WHERE: Media Center Room 220 D, Montreal Convention Centre (Palais des Congrès de Montréal), 1001 Pl. Jean-Paul-Riopelle, Montréal, QC H2Z 1H5. 

Live stream available here.

WHEN: Thursday, December 15 at 10 AM ET.

WHO: The following spokespeople will be in attendance:

Aliénor Rougeot, Climate and Energy Program Manager, Environmental Defence (FR/ EN) 

Melody Lepine, Director at Mikisew Cree First Nation Government Industry Relations

Daniel T’selie, NWT Outreach manager, Dene from Fort Good Hope

Tori Cress, Communications Manager, Keepers of the Water

Paul Belanger, Science lead, Keepers of the Water 

ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.

ABOUT KEEPERS OF THE WATER (keepersofthewater.ca): Keepers of the Water are First Nations, Métis, Inuit, environmental groups, concerned citizens, and communities working together for the protection of water, land, air, and all of the life forms within the Arctic Ocean Drainage Basin.

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For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Paula Gray, Communications Manager, Environmental Defence, pgray@environmentaldefence.ca, 705-435-8611

Tori Cress, Communications Manager, Keepers of the Water, communications@keepersofthewater.ca, 647-201-9207