'Serious concerns': Alberta First Nations oppose coal expansion in Rocky Mountains

Serious concerns over coal

Two of Alberta's largest First Nations have written letters to coal companies saying they will oppose any new mine proposals in the Rocky Mountains.

The Siksika and Kainai bands say new mines would threaten one of the few places that can still support traditional Blackfoot culture.

The Siksika say the United Conservative government has not addressed their concerns despite talks on the area's importance.

The letters say no mines in the region are acceptable.

The Siksika band is part of a legal challenge of the province's decision last May — without public input — to revoke a policy that protected the Rockies and their eastern slopes.

The government restored the policy this month after major opposition from small-town mayors, environment groups, ranchers and prominent entertainers.

The province on Tuesday said public consultations on coal-mining are to begin on March 29.

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