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The Confederation of Athabasca is a nation in the northern part of the former Canadian province of Alberta. It is named after the District of Athabasca that existed prior to the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan being created.
Pre-Doomsday In 1971, Peter Lougheed's Conservatives put an end to the long rule of the Social Credit Party as the Progressive Conservative Party came to power. They remain in power to this day, coming up on 38 years of majority governments. Many experts maintain that the large-scale social change that occurred in the province as a result of the postwar oil boom was responsible for this important change of government. Urbanization, in particular the expansion of the urban middle classes, secularization and increasing wealth are often cited as the primary causes of Social Credit's downfall.
Grande Prairie, the current capital of Athabasca was not hit by any form of ballistic missile on doomsday, though its urban neighbour, Edmonton was hit by a nuclear weapon, effectively cutting it off from the southern half of Alberta. As a result, Doomsday had the effect of sending the region into chaos. Most communities in the region went their own separate ways. In 1985, the proclaimed city-state of Grande Prairie realized that they were truly on their own. The mayor of Grande Prairie at the time called a meeting of representatives of the city-states in northern Alberta to hammer out an agreement. After weeks of negotiation, they finally agreed to the document. The document was the Constitution for the newly-formed Confederation of Athabasca. On May 27th 1985 the representatives signed the constitution, officially forming the Confederation of Athabasca. In 1988 the Athabascans made contact with the legitimate government of Canada and, after two years of debate, the Canadians reluctantly acknowledged the Athabascan government as legitimate.
The Athabascan government is a loose confederation. The leaders of each municipality choose a representative to send to Grande Prairie. These representatives choose the Consul from amongst themselves. The representatives and Consuls last as long as the people that chose them decide they are needed. There have been a few consuls who lasted but scant months before being voted out.
The Athabascans have access to the second largest oil deposits in the world. They have only recently begun to tap the Athabascan Oil Sands with heavy aid from its neighbors. The oil is mainly used by the Athabascans to fuel their farming equipment. The primary source of income is, at least for now, agriculture and ranching. The grain shipments to nearby "Provisional Canada" and Assiniboia allow the Athabascans to support a fair standard of living. There have been plans circulating to build an oil pipeline to neighboring Assiniboia. These plans are still in the negotiation stage. The earliest date the construction can begin is 2015. It is likely that construction would be further delayed by Athabasca's need to strengthen oil production before any shipments can begin. There has been a breakthrough in negotiations, however, the beginning of construction is still years off.
The Athabascans service a small militia for defensive purposes only. It is made up of former Canadian Forces and Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers. However, the Athabascans cannot afford to arm it with anything better than old obsolete military equipment from local armouries and old military bases. On Doomsday, CFB Cold Lake was hit by a non-nuclear ballistic missile, and was rebuilt in the years following. It houses the small Royal Athabascan Air Force, which is made up of a few obsolete planes that were converted to run on ethanol.
The Athabascans have known about the Provisional Canada in the North American Union for years. They have resisted joining them because most Athabascans maintain that they are doing well enough for themselves. The false public perception of Athabascans towards Provisional Canada is negatively influenced by the claim that Provisional Canada answers to former American entities. More pragmatic Athabascan citizens have also nixed rejoining the official Canada based in St John's. However, some believe that this may be unrealistic given the massive geographic expanse between Athabasca's territory and the territories of Canada, along with other entities such as Provisional Canada that may prove to be an obstacle to that goal. The Athabascans have close relations to the Assiniboians, and many feel that they are kindred nations. There is also small group advocating the joining of Athabasca into Provisional Canada or the NAU as a separate entity. However, their membership is small and it is unlikely that they will gain a controlling percentage of the Confederate Assembly anytime soon.