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Pipeline debate takes centre stage for Assembly of First Nations

Last Updated Dec 7, 2016 at 1:11 pm MDT

(http://fortmckay.com/)

A First Nations leader from Alberta is urging other chiefs to resist buying into the arguments of environmentalists opposed to pipeline projects and the oilsands.

Fort McKay Chief Jim Boucher says his tiny community of 800 people is dependent on the oil industry for its own economic welfare.

The debate about controversial energy projects is taking centre stage today at the Assembly of First Nations annual gathering in Gatineau, Que.

Kanesatake Grand Chief Serge Simon says he does not want the industry to come between First Nations.

The Quebec Mohawk leader is part of the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion — a group opposed to oilsands development.

Simon says indigenous leaders have a responsibility to block threats to the land, water and their people.