This is a guest post from the new 350 Coordinator, Joanna Dafoe. Joanna is helping to spread the 350 word in the land where the maple trees grow. Read on for her report on the latest campaign to take on Canada’s tar sands:

65 parts.

That’s how much CO2 the Canadian tar sands will contribute to climate change – 65 parts per million. It is precisely for this reason that 350 travelled to Alberta’s North this weekend to witness first-hand the devastation caused by the tar sands industry. We spent the weekend visiting the Beaver Lake Cree Nation to support their legal challenge against the Government of Canada to stop tar sands development on their territory.  

The Beaver Lake Cree live near an industrial small-town Lac la Biche on one side and sprawling tar sands developments on the other. The social and ecological impacts of the tar sands are so conspicuous that international media, bank representatives, and lawyers joined together this weekend to support the legal case. To help fund the enormous legal fees of challenging the Canadian Government, the Co-Operative Bank in the UK gave the Beaver Lake Cree a checque of $90,000. 

The scene on the ground is much more sobering than in the policy discourse. Community members offered us a tour of the area where we saw a sprawling web of pipelines, rows of extraction plants lined along the highways, and an abundance of “no entry” signs preventing locals from using the land. Chief Al Lameman explains the urgency of the issue: “Governments and industry ignore our concerns. This is our home. This is where we live. We have a responsibility to our children, and to our children’s children, to see that the lands where the Cree live, and will always live, remain inhabitable.”

This October when we join together calling for “350,” we’ll do this in solidarity with communities like the Beaver Lake Cree. Encompassed in this number is not only a call for an energy sea-change, but a demand that order and balance be restored in the world.

To learn more about the Beaver Lake Cree and their legal challenge: 
– RAVEN Website –
– Co-Operative Bank Campaign against Toxic Fuels -
– Article in the Edmonton Journal–