Vision: The Society of High Prairie Regional Environmental Action Committee supports the protection and enhancement of the natural environment.
Mission: The mission of the Society of High Prairie Regional Environmental Action Committee involves both public education about and activities supporting responsible waste management, sustainable energy production, sustainable resource development, airshed and watershed protection in our region.
REAC supports Keepers of the Athabasca Watershed Society and their work. We have some projects in common, like our solar projects. REAC has produced four installations of various sizes, for schools, a landfill, a skateboard park, and a music festival. Keepers has produced solar installations in partnership with First Nations, for example this project in partnership with Beaver Lake Cree Nation: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7ShPcnTU-JqYjBiRmd0TDhKQlU/view
Keepers of the Athabasca vision and mission: Guided by both indigenous Elders’ Traditional Knowledge and western science, the Keepers of the Athabasca (2006) are First Nations, Métis, Inuit, environmental groups, and citizens working together for the protection of water, land, air, and all living things today and tomorrow in the Athabasca River watershed. Our mission is to unite the peoples of the Athabasca River Watershed to secure and protect water and watershed lands for ecological, social, cultural and community health and well being.
Other Keepers of the Athabasca projects include:
- Flowing into Right Relationship workshop series – a series of seven workshops, including ‘Exploring the Treaties’, ‘Community Climate Action’, ‘Indigenous Water Governance’ (pertaining to pre-contact water laws, treaties, and agreements) and others
- Hay River Basin Pollution Investigation – bringing western scientists together with Traditional Knowledge holders from Dene Tha First Nation, Beaver First Nation, North Peace Tribal Council to address concerns about pipeline spill clean up
new project: Athabasca Basin: Tailing ponds and Impacts on Aquifers
Data gaps in understanding ground water and surface water quality and interaction around tailing ponds north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, have long been acknowledged. Our Tailing Ponds and Impacts on Aquifers project intends to create a database and provide easy access through a digital visualization tool developed by a team of hydrogeologists led by Dr. Giles Wendling. We will tell the story of groundwater and surface water quality and interaction in terms adopted to a non-technical audience. This is a collaborative project that proposes to engage Indigenous communities including Fort McMurray First Nation, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Mikisew Cree First Nation, Fort MacKay First Nation, and Fort MacKay Métis Nation, and interested partners such as the First Nation Technical Advisory Group, Athabasca Watershed Council, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, as well industry groups.
By involving indigenous communities, especially Elders' Circles, Indigenous Knowledge holders, community based monitoring programs, and Youth groups at the initiation of this project, we expect to gain insight about concerns and very valuable local and indigenous knowledge. Thus, we aim to produce deliverables that address these concerns, and organize the data so that it is easy to view. The platform will include a map, allowing users to click on a location and see groundwater and surface water data in an interactive mode. The database and platform will be shared publicly for free. It will also to help identify data gaps for our partners, indigenous communities, industry groups, and the general public. We hope to encourage community based monitoring programs that could eventually help to fill these data gaps.