News just broke that oil exploration companies will not conduct seismic blasting in Baffin Bay and Davis Strait this summer. Residents of Baffin Island — including Clyde River — and all the unique marine life calling these waters home, may have one more year of relief from the threats of seismic blasting, but their future remains uncertain. The oil industry might still begin operations next year, reviving all of the risks to marine life and the communities that depend on them instantly.

The one-year reprieve seismic companies have granted the Inuit of Baffin Island is good news. But respect for Inuit rights — and for any People’s right to survive — should not be at the caprice of oil companies.

Clyde River has been taking legal action to stop this dangerous project from going ahead since 2014, when these companies were granted a five-year permit by the National Energy Board to search for oil and gas in the region, despite clear opposition from Inuit communities along the coast. This approval is a direct violation of Inuit rights under section 35 of the Canadian constitution and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The communities were not adequately consulted, nor did they consent to the seismic project going ahead.

Last November their case was heard before the Supreme Court of Canada. While the legal fight was sparked by Clyde River’s opposition to seismic blasting and its threat to wildlife and Inuit culture, the implications of the Supreme Court case could benefit Indigenous communities across Canada that seek to uphold their right to decide what happens on their land and in their water.

Dionn (L), Ray and Roy from Clyde River hold anti-seismic blasting signs aboard the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise. 

As former Clyde River mayor, Jerry Natanine, said:

“We cannot wait year in and year out with an axe over our heads wondering if we will be able to feed our families and maintain our way of life. Our community and all Indigenous communities deserve certainty that our rights are truly protected.”

The Supreme Court ruling could turn this seismic project around, providing Clyde River residents with the long term assurance they need to keep their culture alive and thriving. A decision from the courts is expected at some point this year and until then we must continue to show Clyde River our support.

If you’ve been following this case, your solidarity has made it possible for Clyde River to come this far in their fight. We can't give up now. Let’s keep Clyde River’s fight alive by sharing this Facebook post now.