On Sunday, a rally in Lac La Biche was held by the Region One Aboriginal Business Association in support of Canada’s oil and gas industry. Other recent pro-oil rallies have also been organized by this group in Western Canada, who represent Indigenous businesses in northern Alberta.
Performances were held to begin the event, including Indigenous drummers, singers and dancers.
“We’re all in this together.”
The oil and gas sector helps keep people from becoming burdens on the social-welfare and justice systems, according to Rene Houle of the Whitefish Lake First Nation, adding that he believes the energy industry generates hundreds of jobs for his community through spinoff businesses.
Lee Thom, a councillor from the Kikino Metis Settlement, says “It doesn’t matter if you’re a business owner or a worker or an aboriginal community. We’re all in this together”.
Organizers stress that the rally was not affiliated with “yellow vest” protesters, a protest movement that has been known to carry an anti-United Nations message. Instead, attendees were asked to dawn blue fire-retardant coveralls and hard hats.