First Nation sues Shell
An Alberta First Nation is suing Shell for allegedly failing to live up to community funding agreements.
The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation is seeking almost $1.5 million from the oil and gas company.
Officials from the First Nation, just north of Fort McMurray, say the company is trying to change the terms of agreements that date back to 2003.
The law suit against Shell comes amid growing controversy over the impact of oilsands development on local aboriginal communities.
The suit claims that Shell promised to provide the northern community with cash for development, education and other programs.
Chief Allan Adam says the suit is connected to a health related project that Shell refuses to fund.
"What they wanted to do was that they wanted to control us about how we would conduct our community based monitoring in the community of Fort Chip," said Chief Adam.
The chief says Shell has refused to deal with the Chipewyan Nation on the terms of past agreements.
Shell Vice President of Development John Broadhurst was surprised by the lawsuit.
"Personally very disappointed," said Broadhurst.
Broadhurst says Shell has had hundreds of meetings with the aboriginal communities over the past several years and has spent over $200 million addressing concerns.
"We've had probably over 500 hundred engagements where we've really been trying to understand," said Broadhust
It could be months or even years before the lawsuit makes it to a courtroom.