FORT MCMURRAY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Feb. 10, 2011) - Alberta's tenure system for granting oil sands leases is vulnerable to a constitutional challenge by First Nations, says Professor Nigel Bankes, Law Professor and Chair of Natural Resources Law at the University of Calgary.

Professor Bankes is responding to a recent court ruling against the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation who were arguing that oil sands leases granted to Shell in the Poplar Point area along the Athabasca River were made without proper consultation.

"I think that the Court of Appeal has ignored the constitutional foundation of the duty to consult," says Professor Bankes. "Is it too much to require that the Crown provide actual notice to First Nations when oil sands leases are put up for auction within their lands?"

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Contact Information: Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation
Chief Allan Adam
Robert Janes
Legal Counsel