While indigenous peoples potentially have much to gain from resource development within their territories, they also face the highest risks to their health, economy, and cultural identity from any associated environmental degradation. Perhaps more importantly, indigenous nations’ efforts to protect their long-term interests in lands and resources often fit uneasily into the efforts by private non-indigenous companies, with the backing of the federal and provincial governments, to move forward with natural resource projects.
Too often, when a tragedy happens, people want what they think justice is to be delivered overnight. Unfortunately, something like this is a complicated situation. It takes quite a bit of time to determine what the right response is. It's not just a matter of someone giving someone else money.
There are necessary actions that can rectify the Canadian oil spill which occurred on Aboriginal lands. First, the oil company should be required to completely clean up the spill and restore the land to its original nature. Secondly, those impacted by the spill should be compensated by the pipeline company for damages.
In the wake of the summer oil spill on First Nations land in western Canada, the community felt that they had been overlooked in their struggle to keep their land safe. In August, one community leader stated that the company had done little more than test their waters, while the community itself was struggling to fund the cleanup. So, I believe that history is repeating itself, and no one feels responsibility to preserve First Nations land.
"First Nation with poisoned waters feels abandoned after Husky oil spill," nationalobserver.com