Republic of Athabasca

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Republic of Athabasca
ᐊᖬᐸᐢᑳᐤ ᓇᑎᐅᐣᐨ
(Woods Cree)
Flag of Athabasca
Flag
Coat of Arms of Athabasca
Coat of arms
Motto: "Natura et Felicitas"
"Nature and Prosperity"
Anthem: O' Athabasca
Administrative region of Athabasca is shown in dark green; Historical territory is shown in light green.
StatusActive
Capital
Clearwater
Largest CityGrande Prairie
Official languagesEnglish
Recognised national languagesCree, Denesuline, Slavey, Dane-zaa
Ethnic groups
(2023)[1] [2]
69.9% European
18.3% Indigenous
4.7% Filipino
4.4% African
1.6% Arab
1.4% South Asian
Religion
(2023)[3]
  • 44.8% no religion
  • 5.2% Islam
  • 3.8% others
Demonym(s)Athabascan
GovernmentUnitary Parliamentary Republic
• President
Andrew Snye
• Prime Minister
Atyko Robijovych
LegislatureAurora Assembly
Independence from Canada
1882
• Alberta
1 September 1905
• Independence declared
1 October 2023
• Current Constitution[4]
7 October 2023
Area
• Total
608.1 km2 (234.8 sq mi)
• Water (%)
4.31
Population
• 2023 estimate
410,558a
• Density
7.2/km2 (18.6/sq mi)
CurrencyAthabascan Dollar ($)
Time zoneUTC-07:00 (Mountain)
• Summer (DST)
UTC-06:00 (Mountain DST)
Date formatISO 8601
Driving sideright
Internet TLD.ath (proposed)
  1. Total population in proposed territory including non-citizens. As of 13 October, 2023, the number of registered Athabascan citizens is 11.

Athabasca (Woods Cree: ᐊᖬᐸᐢᑳᐤ)[5] ([/ˌæθəˈbæskə/] About this sound (Listen) ), officially the Republic of Athabasca (Woods Cree: ᐊᖬᐸᐢᑳᐤ ᓇᑎᐅᐣ) is a landlocked self-proclaimed state and micro-separatist movement located in North America. It has a reported population of around 410,558 people (2023), who live in an area of 608 square kilometres (234 sq mi), with 80,000 living in the capital city, Clearwater.[6] The number of legally-recognized citizens by the Athabascan government is 11.

The government of Athabasca regards itself as a successor state to the District of Athabasca, a regional administrative district of Canada's Northwest Territories from 1882 to 1905, where it was integrated into the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The territory that Athabasca has historically controlled was originally inhabited by various indigenous groups, most prominently the Cree and Denesuline peoples. Throughout the 18th to 19th centuries, an increase in European settlement in the area led to new ethnic groups—European in origin—being introduced to the region.

By the 20th century, a renewed interest in the region's rich reserve of natural resources, specifically with the newfound oil sands and uranium deposits, resulted in a second wave of immigration to boomtowns spread across the Athabascan territory. Some of these towns would develop and evolve into larger, commercial settlements, such as: Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Cold Lake, and Flin Flon.

In October 2023, the recently formed Athabascan Sovereignist Movement, under the direction of incumbent President Andrew Snye, officially established the Republic of Athabasca. Just a week later on 7 October, the Constitution of the Republic of Athabasca was ratified, implementing a unitary parliamentary form of governance.

Etymology

Athabasca (also Athabaska) is an anglicized version of the Cree name for Lake Athabasca in Canada, āthap-āsk-ā-w (pronounced /æθəˈbæskə/), meaning "grass or reeds here and there".[7]

History

Early Settlement

This region that comprised the former District of Athabasca has been inhabited by human cultures since the end of the last ice age. Aboriginal peoples in this region have followed variations on the subarctic lifeway, based around hunting, fishing, and gathering. Situated at the junction of three major rivers used as canoe routes for trade: the Athabasca, Peace and Slave rivers, the region that later was defined as the District of Athabasca was well travelled by indigenous peoples for millennia.

Explorer Peter Pond is believed to have passed through the region in 1785, likely the first European to do so, followed by Alexander Mackenzie three years later. In 1788 British fur traders established posts at Fort Chipewyan and Fort Vermilion close to the west. Fur traders followed the First Nations in using the Peace River as part of their network of canoe routes for the North American fur trade. The Métis people, descendants initially of European traders and indigenous women, developed as another major ethnic group in the region.

Map from 1900 showcasing the District of Athabsasca

In 1882, as a part to further utilize and administer the resources of the Northwest Territories, the District of Athabasca was formed under the Canadian government. The regional boundaries of the district comprised of Northern Alberta, expanding eastward into Northern Saskatchewan in 1895. By 1905, after years of federal campaigning, the District of Alberta achieved provincial status inside Canada, the District of Saskatchewan shortly following. This resulted in the abolishing of the Northwest Territories' administrative districts, including Athabasca.

Industrialization

By 1921, there was serious interest in the region following discoveries surrounding the Athabascan oil sands. Primarily, there was interest in developing a refining plant to separate the oil from the sands. One of the leading figures in this research was Karl Clark, being responsible for the innovation in technology used in future oil sand extraction.[8] It was this attention towards northern settlements close to these oil reserves, such as Fort McMurray and Peace River, that would become the catalyst for rapid industrialization in the Athabascan region.

Aerial view of Clearwater.

Throughout the later 20th century, Athabasca would become more connected to the rest of Alberta through the construction of Highway 63, 43, and 28, allowing for more accessible commercial goods from the rest of Canada to reach the northernmost points of the region. In 1967, the Great Canadian Oil Sands (now Suncor) plant opened and the region's economy and population would exponentially skyrocket. More oil sands plants were opened, especially after the 1973 oil crisis and the 1979 energy crisis, when serious political tensions and conflicts in the Middle East triggered oil price spikes.

Present Day

On 3 May, 2016, a large wildfire burning southwest of Fort McMurray resulted in the mandatory evacuation of the region. Upwards of 88,000 people across northeast Athabasca were evacuated; around one-fifth of housing in the region being destroyed or inhabitable. The fire spread across approximately 590,000 ha (1,500,000 acres) before it was declared to be under control on 5 July, 2016.[9]

Founding of the Republic of Athabasca

Discussion surrounding a sovereign Athabascan state had been ongoing since early 2023, originating from local activist, Andrew Snye, as a critique of larger Alberta separatist movements and WEXIT politics. These critiques would evolve gradually overtime into dialogue between friends and associates, leading to the formation of the Athabascan Sovereignist Movement as a central political entity to organize the ideology behind Athabascan Separatism.

On 1 October, 2023, Andrew Snye would declare the Republic of Athabasca as a sovereign state on behalf of the Athabascan Sovereignist Movement. Opinions at first were skeptical of the approach, though would be clarified and addressed in the drafting of the Constitution of the Republic of Athabasca. It was a week later on 7 October, 2023, that the first edition of the constitution would be released publicly online.

On 9 December, 2023, Atyko Robijovych was inaugurated as Athabasca's first Prime Minister following a unanimous vote in favour of his election by the Aurora Assembly.[10]

Politics

Cover of the digital release of Constitution of the Republic of Athabasca (First Edition)

The Republic of Athabasca is a constitutional republic with a unicameral parliamentary system of government. The constitution provides for executive and legislative branches as well as an independent judiciary and a clear separation of powers. The president serves as the head of state, is elected every year, and can be re-elected once consecutively. The prime minister serves as the head of government, appointed by the president with the assembly's support. The head of government in turn assembles a cabinet, subject to assembly approval. Legislative authority is vested in the unicameral Aurora Assembly which has 11 seats and whose members are elected by popular vote on party lists every year.

The Constitution of the Republic of Athabasca sets the framework for the government of the country. Ratified on 7 October, 2023, by the leading Athabascan Sovereignist Movement, the constitution provides explicit detailing regarding the sovereign rights of Athabasca, rights of its citizens, their property, and the functions of government at large. Amendments to the Constitution affecting the state's sovereignty, independence, or unity can only be made after a majority of voters support the proposal in a referendum. Furthermore, no revision can be made to limit the fundamental rights of people enumerated in the Constitution.

Foreign Affairs

As of 17 October, 2023, the Republic of Athabasca legally recognizes all U.N. members as sovereign states. Formal relations with other micronations has been limited, primarily as a result of Athabasca wishing to establish itself as a more serious, less simulationist focused nation-state in comparison to other Discord Sector projects, where Athabasca primarily interacts online.

Geography

(From left to right: Clearwater, Grande Prairie, High Level, and Cold Lake)

Athabasca, with an area claim of 608,127 square kilometres (234,800 square miles), would make it the 44th-largest country in the world. Despite it's large claim size, the government of Athabasca only controls around 0.57 square kilometres (0.22 square miles) of the total area, making up the Administrative District of Clearwater.

Athabasca's northern border extends as far as the 60th parallel north, the southern border sitting just 55 kilometres (34 miles) north of Edmonton, Alberta. The territorial boundaries that comprise Athabasca's claims are based off of the historical borders of the District of Athabasca. Currently, it would extend from the western-most point of Alberta to the eastern-most point of Saskatchewan, along Reindeer Lake.

Climate

With severe winters and only three months which see an average temperature above 10 °C (50 °F), Athabasca has a borderline subarctic climate (Dfb), just short of being considered a humid continental climate (Dfb) as April to May averages to 9.9°C (49.8°F). Temperatures range from an average of −17.4°C (0.7°F) in January, to 17.1°C (62.8°F) in July. The average annual precipitation is 418.6 mm (16.48 in) and falls mainly in the summer months. Average annual snowfall is 133.8 cm (52.7 in), with almost all of it falling between October and April.

External Links

References

  1. Table 98-10-0007-01 Population and dwelling counts: Canada and census divisions Statistics Canada. 9 February 2022.
  2. Population and Demographics Report Northern Alberta Development Council. 18 April, 2023
  3. Census Profile, 2021 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. Catalogue no. 98-316-X2021001. 29 March, 2023.
  4. Constitution of the Republic of Athabasca Government of Athabasca. 7 October, 2023
  5. In Cree syllabics
  6. Athabascan name for Fort McMurray
  7. Bright, William (2004). Native American Place Names of the United States. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, pg. 52. ISBN 0-8061-3576-X OCLC 53019644
  8. Karl A. Clark - University of Alberta Archives Archived 20 October, 2015
  9. "Fort McMurray fire grows to 505,000 hectares as it crosses into Saskatchewan" Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 19 May, 2016.
  10. Inauguration of Robijovych Transcript Government of Athabasca. Archived 9 December, 2023
  11. https://climate.weather.gc.ca/climate_normals/index_e.html