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Articles by Geoff Dembicki

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This story is a collaboration between Floodlight, The Narwhal and the Guardian. It is republished here with permission.

A U.S.-based libertarian coalition has spent years pressuring the Canadian government to limit how much Indigenous communities can push back on energy development on their own land, newly reviewed strategy documents reveal.

The Atlas Network partnered with an Ottawa-based think tank — the Macdonald-Laurier Institute — which enlisted pro-industry Indigenous representatives in its campaign to provide “a shield against opponents.”

Atlas, which has deep ties to conservative politicians and oil and gas producers, claimed success in reports in 2018 and 2020, arguing its partner was able to discourage the Canadian government from supporting a United Nations declaration that would ensure greater involvement by Indigenous communities.

The Canadian Parliament did eventually pass the legislation to begin implementing the declaration in 2021, but observers say the government has made little progress to move it forward.

Meanwhile, Indigenous groups linked to the Macdonald-Laurier Institutes’s campaign —... Read more