The chief of the Buffalo River Dene Nation says he wants answers about an oil spill that occurred within the Primrose Lake Air Weapons Range.

In late June, it was reported that bitumen had seeped onto 40 hectares of land near Cold Lake.

Chief Lance Byhette says he’s concerned because that land falls on the band’s traditional territory.

Byhette notes the government never sat down and consulted the band about the oil development.

He says they deserve to know what’s happening with that land, which is still used by their hunters:

“I think the main reason behind things like this, what we’ve been trying to do, is just to make sure these issues wouldn’t happen, to get to this level.  But, as we can see, it did — without our consultation, without sitting at the table with Buffalo River Dene Nation people, the signatories for Treaty 10.”

He adds they were using the land prior to the annexation of the land to the military, and there was no set agreement with the Buffalo River Dene Nation about that.

At the end of the day, Byhette says they deserve a seat at the table.