Woodland Cree


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



July 2, 1991



Enclosed for your information are copies of correspondence and other materials regarding recent efforts to try and engineer recognition of the so-called Woodland Cree Band by legitimate aboriginal nations. While on one level the attached materials are self-explanatory, some background on the Grand Council of Treaty 8 First Nations is in order.



For years the Chiefs of Treaty 8 have been seeking government support for an organization which could represent their particular interests and provide them with technical advice and assistance. They were unsuccessful until last summer, when, suspiciously coincidental with the Mohawk situation in Quebec, Canadian Federal Indian Affairs Minister Tom Siddon quietly signed a strangely unpublicized "Memorandum of Agreement" with selected representatives of the Treaty 8 Chiefs.



The stated purpose of the Grand Council Memorandum of Agreement is "to review and investigate the issues which exist between the Federal Government and Treaty 8 First Nations". Certainly it is with this perfectly innocent and understandable intent that the vast majority of Treaty 8 Chiefs agreed to participate. However there's reason to believe that Siddon's motives in signing the agreement weren't so innocent and that the Mulroney Government has in fact something significantly more ominous in mind.



The key guy in organizing the Council of Treaty 8 Chiefs, or at least the key front man, is the Chief of a small "family" reserve in northern Alberta named Frank Halcrow. Since Halcrow is generally credited with obtaining long-sought Federal Government support for a Treaty 8 organization, the other Treaty 8 Chiefs agreed that he should be the "Grand Chief" of the Grand Council.



Halcrow is the known protege and admirer of a man named Walter Twinn. Twinn is the Chief of a small, oil-rich northern Alberta Band called the Sawridge Band. As of a few years ago Chief Twinn was the single largest financial contributor in the country to the ruling conservative party -- bigger than Esso Oil. He is the proud holder of a highly desirable and lucrative hotel franchise granted by the Federal Government in Jasper National Park. And he's recently been appointed to the prestigious Canadian Senate by Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.



One of Halcrow's main advisors in organizing the Grand Council is a man named Ray Dupres. Dupres is an ex-Indian Affairs bureaucrat, past top staff man for Walter Twinn and one of the key organizers of the Woodland Cree Band. He's also played a significant role in efforts to involve aboriginal people with the Daishowa and Al-Pac pulp mills.



Funding arrangements for operation of the Grand Council are not known but undoubtedly exist since Halcrow is now operating out of a reportedly plush Grand Council office in Edmonton. The Memorandum of Agreement indicates only that "a Bilateral Committee, consisting of the Grand Chief of the Grand Council (Halcrow) and the Regional Director General, Alberta Region, (Federal) Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (a man named Gary Wouters), together with (their respective support personnel)...will ...negotiate a resourcing agreement for the funding of the implementation and conduct of all obligations and requirements under this agreement".



While the Treaty 8 Chiefs may have a number of issues they want to pursue through the Grand Council, meetings between representatives of Indian Affairs and the Grand Council -- including the omnipresent Ray Dupres on behalf of the Grand Council -- have reportedly focused almost exclusively on so-called "economic development". "Economic development" in this context means involvement of aboriginal people in the forestry industry -- not of the lucrative kind being launched by Japanese companies like Al-Pac and Daishowa, but rather small, seasonal logging and sawmill operations required to feed the huge Daishowa and Al-Pac mills. (One meeting participant reports "All (Federal Indian Affairs Regional Director General) Gary Wouters wants to talk about is logging". "He keeps saying that the Indians should get in on the ground floor while they've got the chance and not miss out like they did in the oil boom".)



Needless to say you don't need a weatherman to tell you what way this ill-wind is blowing. Such small-scale and relatively insignificant aboriginal involvement in the forestry industry will predictably be used to counter both the Lubicons and environment-alists, first by arguing that Government and the pulp mills are not committing genocide against aboriginal people but are rather working with and providing employment for aboriginal people, and second by arguing that callous environmentalists are trying to deny desperately needed jobs for poor unemployed aboriginal people.



Woodland Cree Chief Johnny Cardinal showed up at an early Grand Council organizational meeting in Edmonton a year ago last March asking for formal Grand Council recognition of the so-called Woodland Cree Band. Who'd invited him to attend the meeting or even advised him of it was a mystery -- at least nobody would admit having done it.



Lubicon Chief Ominayak was not expected to attend the March 1990 Grand Council meeting but was able to do so at the last minute. In response to the Woodland Cree request for Grand Council recognition Chief Ominayak reviewed Federal Government creation of the so-called Woodland Cree Band and spelled out what he perceived to be the implications of possible Grand Council recognition. Consequently a resolution condemning Federal Government creation of the so-called Woodland Cree and refusing recognition was unanimously passed by the Treaty 8 Chiefs.



A year later, in March of 1991, a motion again proposing formal Grand Council recognition was somehow put before the Treaty 8 Chiefs. Halcrow says in a letter dated June 19, 1991 (attached), that the motion was made following a second request for recognition by Woodland Chief Johnny Cardinal. However no one who knows Johnny Cardinal would believe for a minute that he would make such a request unless he was solicited to do so by somebody he thought would be able to produce a less embarrassing result than he'd faced a year earlier.



Chief Ominayak was not in attendance at the March 1991, Grand Council meeting. Recognition was not granted to the Woodland Cree but a curiously worded resolution instructing Grand Chief Halcrow to "act as the mediator with a 30 June 1991 deadline..." was passed. Recognition of the so-called Woodland Cree by June 30 of course fits perfectly with reported Federal Government plans to sign a Woodland Cree settlement agreement on the July 11th anniversary of the invasion of Kanesatake. It also fits perfectly with known instructions to officials of the Regional Indian Affairs office to have a Woodland Cree settlement agreement ready for the end of June, and with a now publicly advertised July 5th and 6th Woodland Cree "referendum on settlement agreement". (Such a referendum has to be passed by the so-called Woodland Cree before a settlement agreement can be signed).



Following the attached exchange of correspondence between Chiefs Halcrow and Ominayak, Johnny Cardinal understandably did not attend the June 26, 1991, Grand Council meeting -- pleading an earlier commitment. Several people were however able to reach him by phone at his Cadotte Lake office.



Predictably Halcrow and Twinn were the ones pushing at the June 26th meeting for Grand Council recognition of the Woodland Cree, although both eventually voted against recognition rather than be publicly isolated, and although Twinn later dissembled like crazy when asked about his position on the issue by representatives of the media.



Reflecting once again the polygenetic nature of the so-called Woodland Cree Band, announced polling places for the up-coming Woodland Cree "referendum on settlement agreement" include not only the little aboriginal community of Cadotte Lake where a Woodland Cree Band office has been set-up, but the Metis Friendship Centres in the surrounding non-aboriginal communities of Peace River and Slave Lake, as well as the Federal Government's main office building in the city of Edmonton.


Attachment #1: June 04, 1991, Bernard Ominayak letter to Frank Halcrow with attachments



Grand Chief Frank Halcrow
Grand Council of Treaty 8 First Nations
1050 Scotia Place, Tower 1
10080 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, AB T5I 3R3
FAX: 403-424-8614



Dear Chief Halcrow:



Last Thursday I received a fax communication from your Executive Director Robert Cree referring to a letter and resolution on the so-called Woodland Cree which you'd supposedly forwarded to my office some time after April 18, 1991. I never received any such letter or resolution until my office contacted your office this afternoon and requested a faxed copy.



I am now in possession of that faxed copy of your letter with resolution although frankly I'm still not quite sure what the letter or the resolution are all about. The resolution quoted in the letter refers to "the issue of the Woodland Cree Band" and indicates that you should "act as a mediator with a 30 June 1991 deadline date to resolve the issue by this time or prior to". Neither the letter nor the resolution state what the issue is that you are supposed to "mediate".



Presumably what this is all about is another effort by the same mysterious individual or individuals who tried unsuccessfully last March to get the Grand Council to recognize the so-called Woodland Cree as a legitimate Indian Band. The Woodland Cree of course aren't a legitimate Indian Band at all, but, as stated in Resolution #6 of the IAA's last Annual General Assembly, are rather "an undemocratic artificial creation of the Government of Canada designed to undermine the rights of the Lubicon Lake Nation".



If what you've in fact been asked to "mediate" is Lubicon opposition to Grand Council recognition of the Woodland Cree, then you're wasting your time. We strongly oppose Grand Council recognition of the Woodland Cree, not only because doing so would lend legitimacy to an artificial Federal Government creation designed to undermine the rights of the Lubicon Lake people, but because doing so would legitimize this transparent but potentially very effective Federal Government tactic for subverting and tearing apart any aboriginal nation whom the Canadian Government considers troublesome.



Should there be any question about the threat that creation of the Woodland Cree poses to all legitimate aboriginal nations I call your attention once again to the section of the Indian Act under which the Woodland Cree was established. That section is section 17 and the operative clauses read as follows:



"17.(1) The Minister may, whenever he considers it desirable (underlining added), constitute new Bands and establish new Band lists with respect thereto from existing Band lists, or from the Indian Register, if requested to do so by (an unspecified number) of persons proposing to form the new Bands.



"17.(2) Where pursuant to subsection (1) a new Band has been established from an existing Band or any part thereof, such portion of the reserve lands and funds of the existing Band as the Minister determines (underlining added) shall be held for the use and benefit of the new Band.



"17.(3) No protest may be made (underlining added) under (the section of the Indian Act which provides for the making of protests) in respect of the deletion from or the addition to a Band List consequent on the exercise of the Minister of any of his powers under subsection (1)."



Section 17 thus gives the Minister the absolute power, if he doesn't like the attitude of the elected leadership of any aboriginal nation in Canada, to simply take that aboriginal nation apart and to distribute the land and resources rightfully belonging to that aboriginal nation as he sees fit. He could, for example, decide to give 95% of the land and other resources rightfully belonging to an aboriginal nation of 500 people, with whom the Canadian government disagrees for whatever reason, to 5 dissident members of that aboriginal nation who are willing, as spokesmen of the Woodland Cree have said publicly they are, to do the Canadian Government's bidding. All the Minister needs to proceed in this way is a request by some unspecified number of individuals -- individuals who in the Lubicon case were clearly solicited for this specific purpose by paid agents of the Canadian Government -- who are "proposing to form the new Band".



Lastly I would like to point out the highly suspicious timing for "mediating" the so-called "issue of the Woodland Cree Band"; namely, "a 30 June 1991 deadline date to resolve the issue by this time or prior to".



We've been reliably advised that the Mulroney Government is going to announce a settlement with the Woodland Cree on the July 11th anniversary of the invasion of Kanesatake. Such timing is of course deliberate and appears to be part of a major new national propaganda campaign intended not only to divide and conquer but also to deflect growing national and international criticism over Mulroney Government handling of aboriginal issues.



In order to make a July 11th settlement announcement possible we've been reliably advised that officials of the Regional Office have been instructed to "spare no expense" in putting together a Woodland Cree settlement by the end of June. We've also been told that the Woodland Cree are planning a plebiscite on the proposed settlement agreement to be held sometime during the last half of June.



Obviously the Government would much rather be announcing a settlement with a Band recognized by other Bands than one which is not recognized by other Bands -- especially given the well known history of the so-called Woodland Cree Band. Under these circumstances recognition of the so-called Woodland Cree Band by the Grand Council is something else which the Mulroney Government wants done by "a 30 June 1991 deadline date...or prior to".



Hopefully the Chiefs of Treaty 8 will clearly see and understand what's going on and won't allow themselves to be so used by the Mulroney Government.



Sincerely,



Bernard Ominayak, Chief
Lubicon Lake Indian Nation

cc: Robert Cree
Treaty 8 Chiefs
Regena Crowchild
Georges Erasmus


Attachment #1a (attached to Ominayak 06/04/91 letter to Halcrow): May 30, 1991, letter from Robert Cree, Executive Director, Grand Council of Treaty 8 First Nations, to Chief Bernard Ominayak



Dear Chief Ominayak:



April 18, 1991, Grand Chief Halcrow was given a mandate by the Alberta Treaty 8 Chief's regarding the Woodland Cree Band.



A letter was forwarded to your office along with the resolution and to date have not received a response from yourself.



Grand Chief Halcrow has given both parties ample opportunity to rectify this situation. However, the Chief's have indicated that this will be final discussions where Woodland Cree is concerned. Further, that the intent at the June 19th meeting will be to forward a resolution on the floor for direction to the Grand Council.



Grand Chief Halcrow has requested for confirmation for the Alberta Treaty 8 Chief's meeting. However, if you are unable to attend we request that you send PROXY of a fellow council member.



Sincerely yours,



Robert Cree,

Executive Director



RC/st

Enclosure


Attachment #1b (attached to Ominayak 06/04/91 letter to Halcrow): March 19, 1991, letter from Frank Halcrow, Grand Chief, Grand Council of Treaty 8 First Nations, to Chief Bernard Ominayak



Dear Chief Ominayak:



On 15 March 1991 there was Treaty 8 Chief's Meeting held in Edmonton at the Continental Inn.



An item on the agenda for discussion was Woodland Cree Band. At this meeting a motion was brought to the floor, as follows:



To table the issue of Woodland Cree Band and that the Grand Chief of the Grand Council of Treaty 8 First Nations act as the mediator with a 30 June 1991 deadline date to resolve the issue by this time or prior to.

Moved by: Chief Badger

Seconded by: Elsie Fabian (proxy)

CARRIED



Chief J. Cardinal has indicated that he would be available to meet at your convenience. We would be quite comfortable in meeting with you at your office or should you wish to meet in a neutral place, our office could be made available.



Should you wish to discuss this issue in greater detail you may contact myself at the office 424-8504 Edmonton.



Sincerely yours,



Grand Chief Frank Halcrow
GRAND COUNCIL OF TREATY 8 FIRST NATIONS

FH/st

cc Chief J. Cardinal
Executive Board


Attachment #1c (attached to Ominayak 06/04/91 letter to Halcrow): Section 17 of the Indian Act (available on request)


Attachment #1d (attached to Ominayak 06/04/91 letter to Halcrow): Assembly of First Nations September-October 1989 Bulletin



INAC MINISTER ATTEMPTS TO DISMANTLE LUBICON LAKE



by Chris Printup

Centre for Treaty Advocacy



Even though the Lubicon Lake Nation has control over its membership, Pierre Cadieux continues his strategy of raiding their membership list in order to make it appear as if that Nation is divided on the issue of its 50 year old land claim. On November 8, 1989, Harry Swain, INAC Deputy Minister, told the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs that the Minister intends to go ahead with his plans to reach a settlement with the Woodland Cree Band. At present, the INAC Minister is the only person in Canada who holds such sweeping discretionary powers regarding the establishment of new Indian bands and reserves. The Minister considered it appropriate to use these "sweeping powers" in order to subvert First Nation land rights by establishing a new band, in this case the Woodland Cree, and settling with that band while ignoring the Lubicon Lake Nation. What Mr. Swain neglects to mention, however, is that the Woodland Cree Band is made up of members of other Indian Bands in the area, along with a large number of persons who were recently reinstated under Bill C-31. The Minister has directed his staff to transfer as many names as possible onto the Lubicons' membership list and then to remove these names after a few days and transfer them to the Woodland Cree membership list. This complex charade enables the Minister to say that these persons are ex-Lubicon Lake band members and that he is obliged to move with great haste in order to achieve a settlement with them, because they have been waiting such a long time now. The Minister's ploy is obviously to try to weaken the Lubicon Lake Nation through any means available, be they unjust, illegal or otherwise -- anything except the right and honourable thing, which would be to immediately begin negotiating above-board and in good faith with the Lubicon Lake leadership. It's shocking to see how fast the wheels of government can move whenever they're aware of a way to steam-roll Native rights and interests, and how slow things go when you need something from the government. There are lots of requests from other First Nations communities, groups and persons for Indian band status or new reserve lands, but we've never seen INAC move this fast before and we probably never will again. Unless, of course, another First Nation should happen to stand up to the INAC Minister in order to protect their rights and traditional homelands. Then watch how fast things start to happen.


Attachment #1e (attached to Ominayak 06/04/91 letter to Halcrow): March 08, 1990, resolution of Grand Council of Treaty 8 Nations refusing recognition of the Woodland Cree (available on request)


Attachment #1f (attached to Ominayak 06/04/91 letter to Halcrow): June 5, 1990, resolution of Indian Association of Alberta refusing recognition of the Woodland Cree (available on request)


Attachment #1g (attached to Ominayak 06/04/91 letter to Halcrow): Band Council Resolutions refusing recognition of the Woodland Cree from Mohawks of Kahnawake, Treaty Six Nations, Sarcee Nation, Beaver Lake Tribe, Grand Rapids Indian Band, Bigstone Cree Band, McLeod Lake Indian Band, Nishnawbe-Aski Nation, and the Skeetchestn Indian Band Council (available on request)


Attachment #2: June 19, 1991, letter to BO from Grand Chief Frank Halcrow, Grand Council of Treaty 8 First Nations



Dear Chief Ominayak:



RE: Woodland Cree Band



In response to your letter of 04 June 1991. I will attempt to address your concerns in the order in which you raised them.



Indeed the letter dated 19 March 19091 was faxed to your band office on that date and hard copy mailed as well.



On 15 March 1991 there was a Treaty 8 Chief's meeting held in Edmonton at the Continental Inn. It was a request from the Woodland Cree Band to be on the agenda for that meeting. Woodland Cree Band requested at that time if the Treaty 8 Chief's would consider them to become part of the Treaty 8 group being that they are in Treaty 8 jurisdiction.



The discussion was quite lengthy but no decisions were made regarding the Woodland Cree Band to be recognized as a Treaty 8 member band. The Treaty 8 Chief's felt that both parties should be at the table before any decision is to be made. However, it was decided that the deadline date be placed so that this item is not ongoing.



The intent was not to discredit the Lubicon Lake Band. In fact, the Treaty 8 Chief's strongly recognize the Lubicon Lake Band and fully support your efforts that you have worked long and hard to achieve.



It is true, that the Woodland Cree Band did not go through proper channels to become a legitimate organization. Further, that the Grand Council does not oppose the Lubicon Lake Band and don't choose to in the future. The direction for the Grand Council to mediate was a motion put forward from the Chief's at the 15 March 1991 meeting.



That this meeting of last March 1990 was a Treaty 8 Chief's Meeting hosted by Indian Association of Alberta where at that time Grand Council first came to light. That the Grand Council didn't start it's operations till July 1990 and September 1990 legally became a federally registered corporation. Therefore, March 17-19, 1990 Grand Council was still non-existent. That at March 17-19, 1990 a motion was passed to establish the Grand Council.



As for the timing, at the 15 March 1991 meeting we were not aware of the Mulroney Government to announce the Woodland Cree Band settlement for 11 July 1991.



We, the Grand Council of Treaty 8 First Nations feel very strongly that your attendance is required at this meeting scheduled for 26 June 1991 at the Continental Inn, Ballroom 'C'.



We apologize for the misinterpretation of the letter dated 19 March 1991 and that the Lubicon Lake Band had to question the faithful support of his fellow Chief's.



Further, we believe that the media would be very much interested in the outcome of this particular meeting scheduled for 26 June 1991.



Should you have any questions and/or concerns do not hesitate to contact myself. It is preferred that we deal directly with yourself and not a middleperson. We await confirmation of your attendance for the 26 June 1991 Treaty 8 All Chief's Meeting at the Continental Inn.



Sincerely yours,



Grand Chief Frank Halcrow



cc: Executive Board

Treaty 8 Chief's

Regena Crowchild, IAA

Ovide Mercredi, AFN

Chief J. Cardinal


Attachment #3: June 20, 1991, letter from Bernard Ominayak to Chief Frank Halcrow





Grand Chief Frank Halcrow

Grand Council of Treaty 8 First Nations

1050 Scotia Place, Tower 1

10080 Jasper Avenue

Edmonton, AB T5I 3R3





Dear Chief Halcrow:



Thank you for your letter of June 19th providing additional information regarding how the possibility of recognizing the so-called Woodland Cree Band came to be on the Grand Council agenda.



I can't explain not receiving your March 19th faxed letter or the hard copy of that letter which you mailed to my office, other than to say that we've been aware for some time that all communications to and from our office are monitored, our phones are tapped and our mail is opened. Faxed communications are of course not immune from this process since they are transmitted via the telephone lines. Whether communications are actually blocked and kept from being received is something we worry about but have so far not been able to substantiate. With all important communications it's always good to try and confirm receipt. Also we seem to have better luck receiving communications sent to our Edmonton office, 3536-106th Street, T6J 1A4, fax number 403-437-0719.



It was my earlier understanding that the March 8, 1990, Treaty 8 Chiefs meeting which passed a resolution of non-recognition of the Woodland Cree was in fact an organizational meeting of what is now called the Grand Council of Treaty 8 First Nations, although I am aware that the Grand Council did not actually establish an office and become legally incorporated until later. In any case the March 8, 1990, resolution of non-recognition seems relevant to me, since, as we both know, the same people were involved then as now constitute the Grand Council, and their intention in passing that resolution of non-recognition, then as now, is crystal clear.



Lastly I want to make clear that it is not the support of my fellow Chiefs which worries me but rather the possibility of efforts by the Federal Government to try and manipulate the Grand Council for its own purposes. I know Johnny Cardinal and seriously doubt that he is making representations to the Grand Council on his own, especially after the reception he received from the Treaty 8 Chiefs at the March 8, 1990, meeting. I am also wary of people like Ray Dupres, who, as we both know, was heavily involved in creation of both the so-called Woodland Cree Band and the Grand Council of Treaty 8 First Nations.



I look forward to personally attending the June 26th meeting of the Grand Council at the Continental Inn in Edmonton.



Sincerely,



Bernard Ominayak, Chief

Lubicon Lake Indian Nation



cc: Treaty 8 Chiefs

Regena Crowchild

Ovide Mercredi


Attachment #4: Transcript of CBC Radio News Broadcast (12:30 P.M.)

Wednesday, June 26, 1991



Krysia Jarmicka, CBC News



Treaty 8 Indians from northern Alberta are again refusing to recognize the Province's newest Band, the Woodland Cree. The Woodland Cree has asked for recognition from the Chiefs. The Band was hoping to get it before members vote on a tentative land claim agreement early next month. Byron Christopher reports.



Byron Christopher, CBC News



The Woodland Cree is a Band that was set up with the help of the Federal Government only a couple of years ago. The Band is located at Cadotte Lake, east of Peace River. That is within the Treaty 8 area. The Woodland Cree includes some disgruntled members of the Lubicon Indians. The Lubicons have been trying to sign a treaty with Ottawa since 1939. The position of the Treaty 8 Chiefs is that the Woodland Cree is an artificially created Band by the Federal Government to undermine the Lubicon land claim. The tentative land claim settlement worked out between the Woodland Cree and Ottawa calls for the Band to get more than 50 million dollars, land title and some services. It's not the first time Treaty 8 have snubbed the Woodland Cree. They did the same thing in March of 1990. The Treaty 8 area includes northern Alberta, northeastern British Columbia, the southern part of the Northwest Territories and part of Saskatchewan. Chief John Cardinal of the Woodland Cree is not at today's meeting. Recognition is important for the Woodland Cree, especially now. That is because members of the Woodland Cree vote on the land claim offer in a week and a half. The Band was hoping to get recognition from other Indian bands before that vote. Byron Christopher, CBC News, Edmonton.


Attachment #5: Transcript of CBC Radio News Broadcast (5:30 P.M.)

Wednesday, June 26, 1991



John Hanlon, CBC News



Treaty 8 Chiefs are again snubbing Alberta's newest Indian Band, the Woodland Cree. Today the Chiefs decided not to recognize the northern Alberta Band. As we hear in this report by Byron Christopher, the move is not only a slap in the face for the Woodland Cree, but for the Federal Government as well.



Byron Christopher, CBC News



Last year the Federal Government used a section of the Indian Act to create a new Indian Band, almost overnight. The Woodland Cree Band included some unhappy Lubicon Indians. Keep in mind that the Lubicons have been trying to sign a treaty with the Federal Government for more than half a century. After Ottawa fast-tracked the Woodland Cree, the Lubicons accused the government of slimy divide-and-conquer tactics. The Woodland Cree Band is located at Cadotte Lake east of Peace River. It's within the Treaty 8 area. Bernard Ominayak is Chief of the Lubicon Indians. He says the Treaty 8 Chiefs are giving the Brian Mulroney government a strong message.



Chief Bernard Ominayak, Lubicon Lake Indian Nation



What we're saying is, "Listen, Federal Government, we can't afford to allow you guys to do as you please when it comes to playing political games with Native people."



Christopher



The Woodland Cree Band was snubbed last year by the Treaty 8 Chiefs, and later by the Indian Association of Alberta. What's timely about the latest rejection is that within 10 days the Woodland Cree are voting on a tentative land deal. The Band wanted recognition from other Treaty 8 Bands before it signed treaty. Byron Christopher, CBC News, Edmonton.


Attachment #6: Transcript of CBC Television News Broadcast (6:00 P.M.)

Wednesday, June 26, 1991



Kathy Daley, CBC News



Another rejection tonight for the Woodland Cree, Alberta's newest Band. It is trying once again to be officially recognized by other Indian Bands in the Province, but no such luck. The other Bands won't recognize the Woodland Cree until Ottawa settles a long-standing land claim with another Band, the Lubicon Indians. As Grant Gelinas reports, it's politics Native style.



Grant Gelinas, CBC News



The Lubicon Indians live in Alberta's north, about 400 kilometres north of Edmonton. They're a landless people who've been promised a reserve for more than 4 decades. But talks with Ottawa broke off two years ago. It was a stand-off. The Lubicons set up roadblocks to protect the resources they laid claim to. Then, almost over night, Ottawa recognized a new Band -- the Woodland Cree -- which included disgruntled Lubicons. The Band was offered land in the same area the Lubicons were offered land.



Chief Bernard Ominayak, Lubicon Lake Indian Nation



We know the intent was to divide and conquer the Lubicon Nation...

Gelinas



Today Lubicon Chief Bernard Ominayak asked other Chiefs from the north to stand with him, not Ottawa. Before them was the request from the Woodland Cree to be officially recognized. But they all voted against the Woodland Cree, including this Chief, who is also a Conservative-appointed Senator and supporter of the break-away Band.



Chief Walter Twinn, Sawridge Indian Band



They'll be recognized when both parties have settled their differences.



Gelinas



Are you happy with that?



Twinn



Sure I am



Ominayak



What we saying is, "Listen Federal Government, we can't afford to allow you guys to do as you please when it comes to playing political games with Native people."



Gelinas



The vote comes at a bad time for the Woodland Cree and the Federal Government. In less than a month the Band will vote on a $55 million land claim deal offered by Ottawa, a vote now not legitimate in the eyes of their neighbouring Native leaders. Grant Gelinas, CBC News, Edmonton.


Attachment #7: re-printed without permission from ALBERTA NATIVE NEWS, June 1991



NOTICE

WOODLAND CREE INDIAN BAND NO. 474



Notice of referendum on settlement agreement



At the request of the Chief and Council of the Woodland Cree Band No. 474, the Regional Director General, Alberta Region, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada has ordered a referendum, pursuant to the Woodland Cree Indian Band Referendum procedures for voting on the settlement agreement, for the purpose of the placing before the electors of the Woodland Cree Band a proposal to approve the settlement agreement. The approval of the agreement will be subject to the terms and conditions in the settlement agreement document which will be posted, along with a list of eligible electors, on June 11, 1991, at the locations listed below.



The following question will be asked of the electors by secret ballot:



Do you accept the terms of the settlement agreement between Canada and the Woodland Cree Band No 474, attached to the list of electors as Appendix "A" posted on June 11, 1991, in respect of the provisions of Treaty No. 8, and do you authorize and direct the Chief and Councillors of the Band to execute the settlement agreement on behalf of the Band and undertake all activities necessary to implement the settlement agreement?



Voting will take place on July 5th and 6th, 1991 from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the following polling stations located in the Province of Alberta:



The Band office of the Woodland Cree Band No. 474 at Cadotte Lake.

Slave Lake Native Friendship Centre 408 - 5 Avenue N.E., Slave Lake

Sagitawa Friendship Centre, 10108 - 100 Avenue, Peace River.

Canada Place, Main Lobby, 9700 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton.



Posting of the eligible voters list and proposed settlement agreement, with attachments will be posted at the above locations and at the Cadotte Lake Post Office, Slave Lake Post Office, Peace River Post Office and in Edmonton at the Canadian Native Friendship Centre, 11016 - 127 Street.



The settlement agreement may be viewed at the above posted voters list locations on and after June 11, 1991. Copies are available, on request, from the Woodland Cree Band Office, telephone (403) 629-3803, or from Roger Cardinal, Electoral Officer, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, #630 Canada Place, 9700 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4G2, telephone (403) 495-2080/2843.



Dated and Posted at Cadotte Lake, Alberta this 4th day of June 1991.