EDMONTON - Improved environmental monitoring being developed for Alberta's oilsands is being heavily criticized before it gets fully up and running.
Aboriginal groups in the area have sent an angry letter to Premier Alison Redford accusing the provincial and federal governments of breaking promises to involve them in setting up and running the program.
The letter by the Mikisew (MICK'-ih-soo) and Athabasca Chipewyan (CHIP'-uh-WYE-ahn) First Nations says both governments have deliberately shut them out.
That's despite explicit guarantees that aboriginals would be included in the monitoring.
The letter also demands Redford explain why there's no independent commission to run the monitoring program, as was recommended by the experts who designed it.
The groups point out that federal and provincial scientists are already in the field — without any aboriginal input.