What Happens When an Ancient Culture Strikes Black Gold
On the land where their ancestors thrived for thousands of years, an epic oil boom brings Canada’s indigenous people unprecedented riches—and makes them fear the future.
Photos by Aaron Vincent Elkaim (left) & Ian Willms (right)
In 1899, the Queen of England and 39 indigenous Canadian groups signed the now-notorious Treaty 8 land agreement. The signing chiefs were assured that their land, culture and traditional means of livelihood — namely, hunting and trapping — would be preserved and respected “as long as the sun shines.”
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