Lubicon: Manitoba letter to Mulroney


Lubicon Lake Indian Nation
Little Buffalo Lake, AB
403-629-3945
FAX: 403-629-3939

Mailing address:
3536 - 106 Street
Edmonton, AB T6J 1A4
403-436-5652
FAX: 403-437-0719

May 23, 1991



Attached for your information is a copy of an excellent letter on the continuing Lubicon tragedy sent to Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney by citizens of Manitoba.



Letters of this kind are the Lubicons' only remaining hope other than trying to physically defend themselves and their families on the ground.


May 16, 1991, Letter to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney from a group of Manitobans



RE: The Struggle of the Lubicon People



It is intolerably offensive to us as Canadians that the RCMP and the courts are being used as an instrument of the large forest company Daishowa and its subsidiaries, and of the oil exploration company Norcen Energy Resources in their attacks on traditional Lubicon values.



We deplore the cynical attempt by your government to create division among the aboriginal people of northern Alberta by fast tracking an agreement in principle with the people at Cadotte Lake, recently named the "Woodland Cree" band.



Industrial exploitation has stolen $5 billion worth of natural resources from Lubicon land. $45 million of government-dictated expenditures and 95 square miles out of the 4,000 square miles of unceded Lubicon territory as the government's final offer is entirely inadequate. The Lubicon desperately need a viable, sustainable economic base to replace the self-sufficient way of life they enjoyed before the invasion and ravaging of their lands.



At the core of this problem are a lack of respect for life itself and a contemptuous attitude of conquest. For fifty years the Lubicon have worked to settle their claim, presenting their history and needs to an uncaring and distant administration. Your government's response is to hold belligerently to its invasionist frame of reference, refusing to understand that there is another way, a way of looking at life as a gift to be cherished, not as something to be exploited. True negotiation cannot take place as long as the government demands that the Lubicon begin from the government's perspective.



It is the responsibility of the Canadian government to negotiate, earnestly and in good faith, to compensate the Lubicon for lost resources revenue. Protection of ancestral lands and the acceptance of Lubicon jurisdiction over these lands must be promoted by the Federal government, not undermined by official policy.



The actions and attitudes of the federal government and its representatives in this regard are an international shame. This is the sort of brinkmanship that led to the tragic confrontations at Kahnesatake and Kahnawake last summer.



We insist that you act to remedy this situation immediately. Thank you.



Sincerely,



Dr. C. Simmonds, L. Shapiro, J. Sylvester, John Sylvester, Neil Conner, Laura Conner, W. Symonds, Verna McKay, Glenda Armstrong





cc: Chief Bernard Ominayak

National Chief George Erasmas

Phil Fontaine

Hon. Tom Siddon

Jean Chretien

Audrey McLaughlin

Ethel Blondin

Robert Skelly