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N.S. Mi’kmaq grandmothers to launch land title claim against gas project

Protesters gather at the Alton Natural Gas Storage LP office in Stewiacke, N.S., on October 4, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan.
Protesters gather at the Alton Natural Gas Storage LP office in Stewiacke, N.S., on October 4, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan.

Three Indigenous women described as “grassroots grandmothers” who were arrested last week at a rural construction site north of Halifax have filed a title claim over land where a company plans to build a natural gas storage facility.

READ MORE: Ellen Page visits Alton Gas site in support of Indigenous water protectors

Their lawyer, Michael McDonald, told the Nova Scotia Supreme Court today that the claim is based on the 1752 treaty with the Crown and the notice of motion is for an aboriginal title claim for the lands currently being used by Alton Gas.

WATCH: Alton Gas fortifies fences after removal of Mi’kmaw grandmothers

Alton Gas fortifies fences after removal of Mi’kmaw grandmothers
Alton Gas fortifies fences after removal of Mi’kmaw grandmothers

McDonald says an injunction will also be filed to prevent Alton Gas from doing further work along the Shubenacadie River at Fort Ellis, while the title claim is being settled.

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Meanwhile, McDonald’s clients – Darlene Gilbert, Madonna Bernard and Paula Isaac – signed a court order to abide by a temporary injunction that bars protesters from the work site.

Alton Gas plans to use water from the river to create large, underground storage caverns and protesters fear the 73-kilometre tidal river, which cuts through the middle of Nova Scotia, may be polluted.

READ MORE: Mi’kmaw matriarchs serve eviction notice to Alton Gas

Justice Gerald Moir has scheduled Aug. 15 to consider the breach of the temporary injunction by the three women, while four dates have been set aside in December for the title claim motion.

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