A Saskatchewan First Nation is fundraising to pay for cleanup efforts related to July’s oil spill in the North Saskatchewan River caused by a leaking Husky Energy pipeline near Maidstone, Sask.
The James Smith Cree Nation, located about 60 kilometres east of Prince Albert, Sask., issued a media release this week saying they have submitted two requests to Husky Energy for funding to clear oil-covered debris off riverbanks and to pay for water quality monitoring. So far, those requests have been denied, according to the release.
“The James Smith Cree Nation had no start-up budget for the clean-up efforts involved with this oil spill. The James Smith Cree Nation was not informed of the spill until the water that flows through the James Smith Cree Nation Territory was already contaminated,” reads part of the release.
To date, the First Nation has reportedly spent $150,000 on clean-up and is starting a campaign on the Indiegogo fundraising site.
The release noted Husky officials have said they are looking into compensation. In the meantime, the community plans to continue fundraising as they’ve had no guarantees from the company.