For Indigenous people in the area, the battle to preserve the land represents the latest front in a long and seemingly endless war. “By protecting treaty rights, we are protecting the land, we are protecting the mountains, we are protecting the wildlife,” says Latasha Calf Robe, a community organiser with the Blood Tribe. “Because these fights never end. If it’s coal mines one day, it’s pipelines the next day, and then it’s logging.”
‘This land feeds our souls’: the battle to save the Rockies from big coal
To the east of the Bluebird Valley ranch, the grasslands of the Canadian prairies extend beyond the horizon. To the west, the fields rise, and then sharply erupt into the Rocky Mountains.