Environmental groups are increasing their attention on oil sands technology. The Arctic Indigenous Alliance — with support from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and several other environmental groups — held protests in Washington, D.C., on July 5-7 over a Smithsonian exhibit about the Canadian province Alberta that featured information on the Alberta's oil sands. The group's activities are connected to a long-term campaign to preserve the Canadian boreal forests from timber, oil, gas and oil shale development. Elaine Alexia, founder and director of the Arctic Indigenous Alliance, led the protest, which included members of the Ruckus Society, Rainforest Action Network, Oil Change International, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, the Pembina Institute and NRDC. In conjunction with the exhibit, which was part of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, the Alberta government has begun a lobbying and public relations initiative in Washington to bolster support for expansion of oil sands and oil tar development.