Thank you for the question.
We do own one and a quarter million acres of land. We have more wells than first nations people have on their lands, yet I look at what has transpired with our people.
I just want to say, for the record, that 30 years ago, I made a deal with Texaco. It was bought out by CNRL. The deal was to develop the resources in exchange for developing the people. What we received was a whole bunch of our people going bankrupt. They were kept inside the little sandbox of our area and told to be competitive with other businesses around them that enjoyed full-time employment. They never lived up the master development agreements that we had with them.
We looked at Alberta's policies where it says that if you come here, you're supposed to leave it in the condition you found it. I challenge anyone to go on Google Earth and look at Alberta. Look at sites that are 60 years old and older than that. What are they? You'll find that none of them are the same as the area around them. They put it down to pastured grasses. They run cattle on it. Sometimes they'll put the odd tree. You lose all of the traditional medicine and the berries. Everything we had there before is gone. It changes the whole landscape.
We talk about the impact. In our communities, we see different kinds of animals that don't belong here, whether it's raccoons, antelopes or the grizzly. We know that climate change is real. We see the change in the animals. We see the ducks and the geese that we can't eat anymore. We wonder if next it's going to be our moose and deer that we can't eat.
We look at all of these things and we say that we were part of that problem. We were never given the opportunity, like the first nations talk about, to maximize the opportunity under oil and gas. We've always been second fiddle to everything. When something is closing, they want to bring it and say that now its an opportunity for us.
We need to get in at the ground floor—right now—of what the new move is for moving forward with Canada and the world economy. That's why, for us, we want to say goodbye to oil and gas. It's still going to happen, but we don't want to destroy our land.
As I said earlier, Blake, we are the stewards of the land in our settlements and communities. You'll see there are very few fields. We've protected the trees, the environment and our way of life. I take it as an affront when we're charged carbon taxes and all of this stuff when we're the people protecting it, along with my first nations brothers and sisters. I don't believe that it's appropriate to charge us for that.