Lubicon Lake Indian Nation
Little Buffalo Lake, AB
3536 - 106 Street
Edmonton, AB T6J 1A4
September 22, 1991
During the period from September 9 through 19, 1991, a Lubicon delegation bearded the Daishowa monster in its Tokyo den. The trip was sponsored and financed by an interdenominational coalition of Canadian and Japanese churches.
As part of the planning for the trip the Japanese Churches asked who the Lubicons would like to meet while in Japan. The Lubicons indicated that they would like to meet the head of Daishowa, concerned Japanese politicians, Japanese church groups, Japanese environmental groups, Japanese human rights groups, Japanese consumer groups, representatives of the Japanese media and Japan's aboriginal people, the Ainu, who had previously invited the Lubicons to visit if the Lubicons were ever in Japan.
Much to the consternation of propriety conscious Japanese organizers of the trip, Daishowa President Kiminori Saito refused to meet the Lubicon delegation. The Lubicon delegation of course wasn't surprised by this refusal, especially after the poor showing of Daishowa's senior officials in Canada during the recent September 4th meeting in Vancouver, and simply used Mr. Saito's refusal to underscore the problem faced by the Lubicon people.
The rest of the Lubicon visit to Japan was busy and productive involving meetings with Japanese political leaders from both the Upper and Lower Houses of the Japanese Parliament, the Ainu, the Consumers Union of Japan, the Japanese Tropical Forest Action Network, Greenpeace Japan, Friends of the Earth Japan, Hankaku Pacifica, the National Christian Council in Japan, the United Church of Christ in Japan, the Korean Christian Church in Japan, the Japanese Catholic Bishops Conference, the Catholic Commission on Justice and Peace, the Japan/North America Commission on Cooperative Mission, the Council on Cooperative Mission and the Environment Conservation Committee of the Japanese Bar Association.
In addition to establishing contact and agreeing to provide related background information and on-going up-dates on the anticipated confrontation between the Lubicons and Daishowa, proposed follow-up with these various concerned individuals and groups includes research on Daishowa's international corporate structure and activities, research regarding Daishowa's major customers around the world and investigations into the plight of the Lubicons by the Japanese media, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Japanese Parliament, the Environment Committee of the Japanese Parliament, the Environment Conservation Committee of the Japanese Bar Association and the Japanese Commission on Trade and Commerce.
Related correspondence, press statements and media coverage are attached.
Attachment #1: Transcript of CBC Radio News Broadcast
Monday, September 09, 1991
This morning, the head of Alberta's Lubicon Indian Band boards a plane for Japan. Chief Bernard Ominayak is taking his complaints about a Japanese logging company to head office in Tokyo. As Byron Christopher discovered, this is just the latest chapter in a long and complicated story.
Chief Bernard Ominayak, Lubicon Lake Indian Nation
The governments are using Daishowa and whoever is involved in logging to try and undermine the Lubicon people and get rid of us once and for all.
Byron Christopher, CBC
For more than 5 decades, Chief Bernard Ominayak's Lubicon Indians have been locked in a battle with the Alberta Government. The prize is ownership of a large area of land in northern Alberta. Alberta claims the land belongs to the Crown. The Indians say that's impossible. They say they've never given up title to the land. Then Daishowa got involved. Daishowa is a big Japanese owned paper manufacturing company. A few years ago the Alberta Government gave Daishowa more than $65 million to help build a huge pulp mill in Peace River. That's in northwestern Alberta, right next to land claimed by the Lubicons. Alberta also gave Daishowa the green light to clear-cut trees in an area three times the size of Prince Edward Island. Some of those trees are on land the Lubicons say is theirs. If their forests are destroyed, the Indians say they'll be finished too. Daishowa claims it is an innocent bystander in a dispute between an Indian Band and Government. Chief Ominayak does not agree. He says Daishowa has a big stake in the dispute.
Of course Daishowa wants to cut trees...they're getting those trees for next to nothing...but the fact of the matter is while they're doing that, they're fulfilling the wish of the Governments, and that's to kill the Lubicon people.
There wasn't supposed to be any conflict between Daishowa and the Lubicons. Back in March of 1988, Bernard Ominayak met in Vancouver with officials from Daishowa. Both sides agree they worked out a deal at that meeting, but they have different versions of the agreement. The Lubicons' version is that Daishowa agreed not to cut down any trees anywhere in its entire hunting and trapping area until the Band works out a land claim with the Federal Government. The way the Lubicons see it, 10,000 sq. km. of their traditional lands are off-limits to Daishowa. Daishowa sees things differently. Jim Morrison works for the company in Edmonton. He says Daishowa only promised not to cut down trees in the area set aside for a Lubicon reserve. That's just a fraction of the area the Lubicons claim. Bernard Ominayak shakes his head. He says there's no doubt in his mind what was agreed to at the Vancouver meeting.
There was clearly an agreement between Daishowa and the Lubicon people at that point. There were a number of other native leaders that attended that meeting where Daishowa made the commitment that they wouldn't come into our area until the claim was settled.
While he's in Japan, Ominayak plans to meet with officials from Daishowa's head office. He also plans to meet with environmentalists, politicians and reporters. He wants to get his message across to the Japanese people.
My understanding of the Japanese people is that they are very cautious about the environment. If they are, we certainly would like to bring the problem to them that their company is clear-cutting lands that are Indian lands and that the (Canadian) Governments are in essence using (Daishowa) to destroy the Lubicon people. I think the Japanese people should know this. I would hope that if there is enough public support within Japan that Daishowa stops the clear-cutting that they intend to do.
Chief Ominayak vows to tighten the screws on Daishowa. That includes demonstrations and working with Europeans for a planned boycott of Daishowa paper products this fall. All of which hits Daishowa at a critical time. A Japanese newspaper reports the company is heavily in debt and trying to sell its new pulp mill in Alberta. Now that might prove to be the chink in Daishowa's armour. Daishowa is hurting. But if that works for or against the Lubicons remains to be seen. In Edmonton, I'm Byron Christopher.
PRESS STATEMENT BY CHIEF BERNARD OMINAYAK, LUBICON LAKE INDIAN NATION, September 11, 1991, 2:00 P.M. -- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
On September 6, 1991, the National Christian Council in Japan requested a meeting between Daishowa Paper Mfg. Co., Ltd., and representatives of the Lubicon Lake Indian Nation. That request was curtly denied by Daishowa's Tokyo office in a brief letter stating that clear-cut logging of unceded Lubicon territory by Daishowa's Canadian subsidiary is somehow not a matter concerning Daishowa Paper Mfg. Co. but is only between the Lubicon people and the Government of Canada.
Consequently I have addressed the following letter to Mr. Kiminori Saito, President of Daishowa Paper Mfg. Co., Ltd.:
Letter to President Kiminori Saito from Chief Bernard Ominayak:
I write to request a meeting to discuss the expressed intention of your Canadian subsidiary to conduct unauthorized clear-cut logging on Lubicon territory this fall contrary to an agreement made with the Lubicon people on March 7, 1988. Such unauthorized clear-cut logging by your Canadian subsidiary on our unceded traditional territory will result in a dangerous and potentially violent confrontation between your people and ours -- a situation which we would like to avoid and hope that you would like to avoid as well.
The purpose of the requested meeting would be to advise you of our unfortunate experience with your Canadian subsidiary so that you won't have to rely solely on the information of people whom we know from personal experience cannot be relied upon to tell the truth. Should you decline our request we will be forced to conclude that the people working for your Canadian subsidiary lie and break agreements on your instruction.
Hopefully, it will be possible for us to meet with you on September 18, 1991, at 1 P.M. If a meeting at this time and place is not possible for you, we will seek to communicate our position on this matter to you in a variety of other ways open to us.
Bernard Ominayak, Chief, Lubicon Lake Indian Nation
Response to this letter will determine whether Daishowa Paper Mfg. Co. wants to avoid a dangerous and potentially violent confrontation with the Lubicon people or is merely a modern version of the old imperial, colonial Japan which in the past brought such disgrace, dishonor and disaster upon the Japanese and Asian peoples.
Attachment #3: CP NEWS BROADCAST
Wednesday, September 11, 1991
By Darryl Gibson
TOKYO (CP) -- Four northern Alberta native leaders, in Japan to press their case against Japanese logging on their ancestral lands, appear unlikely to get much satisfaction from Japanese paper company Daishowa.
Bernard Ominayak, Chief of the Lubicon Lake Cree, told a press conference today that unless Daishowa Paper Mfg. Co.'s plan to cut timber in the Peace River area of northern Alberta is stopped, his people will be destroyed.
He said Daishowa Paper's subsidiary, Daishowa Canada Ltd., plans to break a 1988 agreement with the Lubicon Cree that it would not begin logging until a land-rights settlement is negotiated with the federal government.
The company plans to begin logging in October in a 29,000-square-kilometre area east of Peace River.
Ominayak said he has written to Daishowa Paper president Kiminori Saito to request a meeting while he and three other representatives of the Lubicon Cree are in Japan from September 10-September 19.
Ominayak said he told Saito in the letter that the proposed clear-cut logging by Daishowa Canada to supply its paper mill on the Peace River "will result in a dangerous and potentially violent confrontation" between his people and the company's workers.
A spokesman for Daishowa International said the company would not meet Ominayak or other delegation members. The spokesman said the company has legitimately bought logging rights from the Alberta government and the land-rights dispute is a matter between the Lubicon Cree and the Canadian federal government.
The Lubicon Cree and the Canadian government have still not agreed on land claims.
The disputed lease includes a 10,000-square-kilometre area which Ominayak said the Lubicon Cree have occupied for thousands of years.
Ominayak said most of the 500 Lubicon Lake Indians, who formerly lived as hunter-trappers, now live on welfare because of environmental destruction through oil and timber extraction.
"Daishowa has taken all of our traditional area through leases. The whole area will be destroyed and the wildlife and our people will be gone," Ominayak said.
"As long as we have no agreement with the government, we are left out in the cold. We watch people extract paper through mills to get dollars from our lands and we do not get one cent back."
The Indian delegation, which also includes lawyer Sam Bull, Sam Bull Jr., and advisor Fred Lennarson plan to hold a demonstration outside the Daishowa headquarters in Tokyo on September 18 to publicize their claims against the company and to try to force a meeting with Daishowa management.
They will also visit with native Japanese people, called Ainu, who live in northern Japan to help the Ainu press claims against a Japanese dam project which threatens to destroy their traditional homelands.
Daishowa Paper, Japan's second largest papermaker, is in financial trouble and said to be possibly planning to sell the Peace River mill.
Alberta has invested $65 million on roads and bridges for the mill and the federal government has spent $20 million on the first phase of the project that is to cost $1.3 billion in total.
Alberta has said that if the mill is sold, a new owner would have to meet the terms agreed to by Daishowa or the government might reduce its lumber supply.
Attachment #4: The Japan Times, Thursday, September 12, 1991
Canadian Indians Wednesday called on a Japanese company to stop producing pulp in Alberta, saying the company's plan to cut local timber would destroy the area's Indian community.
Chief Bernard Ominayak of the Lubicon Lake Indians told a news conference at the Japan Christian Center in Tokyo that Daishowa Paper Manufacturing Co.'s local subsidiary plans to break a 1988 agreement with the Indians, preventing it from logging until a negotiated land rights settlement is reached.
Daishowa Canada plans to begin logging in October in a 29,000 sq. km area east of the Peace River in northern Alberta.
Ominayak said he has written to Daishowa Paper President Kiminori Saito to request a meeting during his Sept. 10-19 stay in Japan.
But a spokesman for Daishowa International said in Tokyo on Wednesday that the company would not meet Ominayak, who is heading a four-person delegation.
The spokesman said the company bought logging rights from the Alberta Government legitimately and the land rights dispute is a matter between the Indians and the Canadian Federal Government.
The Indians and the Canadian Government have still not agreed on the land claims.
Ominayak said he told Saito in the letter that the proposed clear-cut logging to supply a paper mill on the Peace River "will result in a dangerous and potentially violent confrontation" between the Indians and company workers.
The disputed lease includes a 10,000 sq. km area which Ominayak said the Indians, part of the Cree group, have occupied for thousands of years.
Ominayak told the press conference that most of the 500 Lubicon Lake Indians, who formerly lived as hunter-trappers, now live on welfare because of environmental destruction through oil and timber extraction.
Attachment #5: The Globe and Mail, Thursday, September 12, 1991
LUBICON BAND THREATENS TO HALT DAISHOWA LOGGING
By Edith Terry
TOKYO -- Visiting representatives of Alberta's Lubicon Lake Cree Indians threatened yesterday to forcibly stop Daishowa Paper Manufacturing Co. from beginning large-scale logging in a massive chunk of northern Alberta.
Lubicon chief Bernard Ominayak declined to say how the band would stop logging, but he hinted that it might be similar to a raid conducted last November against a Daishowa subcontractor in Alberta, in which logging equipment worth $20,000 to $50,000 was destroyed. As part of its battle, the band has sent a four-member delegation to Japan to press its case.
Mr. Ominayak is leading a Lubicon delegation here that includes Lubicon counsel Sam Bull, his son, Sam Bull Jr., and adviser Fred Lennarson. The group's 10-day visit to Japan, which began Tuesday, is sponsored by Japanese church and environmental groups.
The dispute began in September, 1989, when the Alberta government granted Daishowa a 20-year forestry management tract of 29,000 square kilometres that includes the area of the Lubicons' claim of 10,000 square kilometres.
Daishowa, Japan's second-largest pulp and paper company, has ducked serious negotiations, insisting that the matter is between the Canadian federal and provincial governments and the 500-member Lubicon band.
The Lubicon crusade comes just after Daishowa put a $1-billion for-sale sign on its Peace River, Alta., pulp mill, which has been in operation since 1990.
"Not wishing anybody any bad luck, our preference would be to shut the mill down completely and get it out of northern Alberta," Mr. Ominayak said.
"It's kind of the ultimate development of an outmoded technology," added Fred Lennarson, an adviser to the Lubicon group. "It poisons the water, it poisons the atmosphere, and poisons everything around."
Telephone calls to Daishowa Canada Co. Ltd.'s office in Edmonton were not returned yesterday.
The Lubicon delegation's visit to Japan will include a trip to Hokkaido, where the group will join a protest by Japan's aboriginal people, the Ainu, against a hydroelectric dam the Ainu say will damage their traditional fishing grounds. Next week, the Lubicon group will return to Tokyo for demonstrations in front of Daishowa's main office in Tokyo.
Japanese organizers of the Lubicons' visit say parliamentary pressure is being brought to bear on Daishowa to agree to a meeting.
The native group has already found getting in the door at Daishowa difficult; the company has brushed off two written requests for a meeting in Tokyo.
On Tuesday, Daishowa's latest rejection letter told the Lubicons that "such a meeting between yourselves and Daishowa would not be useful for a solution of the ongoing negotiations between the Canadian government and the Lubicon Indians."
Attachment #6: The Edmonton Sun, Thursday, September 12, 1991
LUBICONS THREATEN VIOLENCE
By Jeff Harder and Shelly Decker
"Violent confrontation" awaits Daishowa Canada loggers if they try to clear-cut forests adjacent to the Lubicon Lake Indian band, vows Chief Bernard Ominayak.
In a letter to the president of Daishowa Paper Mfg. Co., the Japan-based parent of Daishowa Canada, Ominayak warns the firm to steer clear of disputed "Lubicon territory."
Daishowa operates a $600-million pulp mill at Peace River and logs thousands of hectares in the vicinity.
Clear-cut logging on the unceded land, about 350 km northwest of Edmonton, would violate a March, 1988, agreement between Daishowa and the Lubicons, said the chief.
"Such unauthorized clear-cut logging by your Canadian subsidiary...will result in a dangerous and potentially violent confrontation between your people and ours," Ominayak said in his letter to Kiminori Saito.
Lubicon band advisor Fred Lennarson, who is in Tokyo with Ominayak, wouldn't comment on what violence may happen.
"I think we just have to take that at face value," Lennarson told THE EDMONTON SUN last night from Japan. "It's a tactical question what one does to stop Daishowa."
Logging is scheduled to begin in the fall.
The two Alberta men are in Tokyo speaking to religious and environmental groups. Lennarson said Japanese support is growing for the Lubicons. The two will know Monday if they will meet with Saito.
Company officials have turned down the last two requests for a meeting.
Last fall 13 Lubicons were charged after logging equipment that belonged to Buchanan Lumber of High Prairie was torched.
Attachment #7: WINDSPEAKER, September 13, 1991
LOGGING COULD PROMPT VIOLENCE -- OMINAYAK
by Amy Santoro
Windspeaker Staff Writer
LUBICON LAKE NATION, ALTA.
Chief Bernard Ominayak has warned Daishowa violence could erupt between the Lubicon Lake Indians and Daishowa if unauthorized logging in Lubicon-claimed territory goes ahead this fall.
Ominayak, currently in Tokyo, said Daishowa Canada plans to conduct unauthorized clear-cut logging this fall contrary to a 1988 agreement between the two parties.
"Such unauthorized clear-cut logging...will result in a dangerous and potentially violent confrontation between your people and ours," he said in a Sept. 11 letter to Daishowa Paper president Kiminori Saito.
In the letter Ominayak asked Saito to meet with him Sept. 18 about the matter.
But Saito ha brushed aside Ominayak's concern refusing to meet with him, saying the problem is between the Lubicons and the Canadian government not Daishowa.
Ominayak said he wants to meet Saito "to advise you of our unfortunate experience with your Canadian subsidiary so you won't have to rely solely on the information of people working for your Canadian subsidiary who lie and break agreements on your instruction."
He said response to his letter will determine whether Daishowa wants to avoid a potentially violent confrontation with the Lubicons "or is merely a modern version of the old imperial colonial Japan which in the past brought such disgrace, dishonor and disaster upon the Japanese and Asian people."
Jim Morrison, general manager of Daishowa's Edmonton office, said no agreement was made in 1988 not to log in the Lubicon's 10,000 sq. km traditional territory in Little Buffalo 360 km northwest of Edmonton.
Morrison has told WINDSPEAKER Daishowa's subsidiary, Brewster Construction, plans to log in the area this fall but nowhere near the 243 sq km proposed reserve area. Daishowa Canada owns a $500-million megamill in Peace River.
Over 50 years have passed and the Lubicon Nation is still battling with the federal government for a settlement.
In 1989 the band turned down a federal offer of $45 million on a 246 sq km reserve. The Lubicons want $167 million in economic compensation.
Last November Ominayak issued a similar warning to development companies operating on unceded Lubicon territory. Sixteen days later logging equipment used by Buchanan Lumber of High Prairie was torched on Lubicon-claimed land. Thirteen Lubicon Band members were later arrested in connection with the incident and charged with arson and related offences. Their cases are still before the courts.
Attachment #8: Press Notice from the National Christian Council in Japan, September 17, 1991
After repeated requests by the Lubicon Cree delegation, from Alberta, Canada to meet with Daishowa Paper Mfg. Co. officials at their Tokyo office, Daishowa again refused Lubicon Chief Bernard Ominayak, who has been in Japan since September 10.
In a Sept. 17 fax to Chief Ominayak, President Kiminori Saito states: "We have assigned to the management of Daishowa Canada responsibility for its operations and the issues which you wish to discuss must be directed to them".
Daishowa Paper Mfg. Co. is refusing to take responsibility for the destructive and genocidal operations of its Canadian subsidiary. Thus, as Chief Ominayak asserted in a Sept. 11 press statement: "We will be forced to conclude that the people working for your Canadian subsidiary lie and break agreements on your instruction." This refers to the March 7, 1988 meeting when Daishowa officials promised Chief Ominayak that Daishowa would not log on unceded Lubicon land until a negotiated land rights settlement has been reached between the Lubicons and the Canadian government.
Amid growing support from Japanese christian, environmental, consumer and minority organizations, the Lubicon delegation is forced to communicate their position to Daishowa's officials through other means open to them, including a public demonstration to be held Wed., Sept. 18 at 12:00 noon in front of Daishowa's offices in the Asahi Tokai Bldg. in Otemachi. Supporting organizations include the National Christian Council in Japan, the Japan Tropical Forest Action Network, the Japan Consumer's Union (Shohisha Renmei), the United Church of Christ in Japan, Korean Christian Church in Japan, the Japanese Catholic Bishop's Conference and Greenpeace-Japan.
PRESS STATEMENT BY CHIEF BERNARD OMINAYAK, LUBICON LAKE INDIAN NATION, September 19, 1991
The President of Daishowa Paper Mfg., Mr. Kiminori Saito, has made clear through his refusal to meet Lubicon representatives that his company is prepared to risk dangerous and potentially violent confrontation with the Lubicon people this fall over unauthorized clear-cutting of trees in the unceded traditional Lubicon territory. If Daishowa proceeds with its plans to clear-cut Lubicon trees this fall, either directly or through a subcontractor or subsidiary, we can assure Mr. Saito that he will bring on that dangerous and potentially violent confrontation.
While in Japan, Lubicon representatives have had the opportunity to review our Daishowa problem with a variety of concerned groups and individuals including Japanese political leaders from both the Upper and Lower Houses of the Japanese Diet, the Ainu, the Consumers Union of Japan, the Japan Tropical Forest Action Network, Greenpeace Japan, Friends of the Earth Japan, Hankaku Pacifica, the National Christian Council in Japan, the United Church of Christ in Japan, the Korean Christian Church in Japan, the Japanese Catholic Bishops Conference, the Catholic Commission on Justice and Peace, the Japan/North America Commission on Cooperative Mission, the Council on Cooperative Mission and the Environment Conservation Committee of the Japanese Bar Association.
In addition to establishing contact and agreeing to provide related background documentation and on-going updates on the pending confrontation between the Lubicons and Daishowa, proposed follow-up with these concerned individuals and groups includes help researching Daishowa's international corporate structure and activities, help identifying Daishowa's major customers around the world and investigations into the plight of the Lubicon by the Japanese media, the Japanese Bar Association, the japanese Commission on Trade and Commerce, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Japanese Diet and the Environment Committee of the Japanese Diet.
Research on Daishowa's activities and customers will be used to support a growing international boycott of Daishowa paper products. We are confident that all of these proposed investigations will conclude that Daishowa is heavily implicated in the genocide of the Lubicon people.
This afternoon we leave Japan and return to Canada to prepare for what now appears to be an unavoidable on-the-ground confrontation between the Lubicons and Daishowa this fall. We thank the Japanese people for their generosity and hospitality and ask for their help and prayers in helping to put this forest-eating monster on a leash before it and companies like it render Mother Earth uninhabitable for us all.
The Lubicon Delegation
Attachment #10: The Globe and Mail, Thursday, September 19, 1991
LUBICONS FEAR DAISHOWA WILL START CUTTING LAND-CLAIM TREES
Tokyo delegation fails to get meeting with Japanese executives
By Edith Terry
TOKYO -- Japan's second-largest paper company has ignored demands by Canadian Indians that it not cut trees in a huge tract of forest near the northern Alberta community of Peace River, an Indian leader says.
Representatives of the Lubicon Lake Cree Indians arrived in Japan last week in an effort to meet executives of Daishowa Paper Manufacturing Co., which operates a bleached kraft pulp mill on the Peace River in Alberta.
Rather than meet, however, company executives referred the concerns to Daishowa's Canadian subsidiary. The Lubicons said yesterday that, as a result of the refusal, Daishowa would probably begin large-scale logging by the end of October or early November.
The company's response "reflects how Daishowa feels about the whole situation," Lubicon Chief Bernard Ominayak said. "Honest people normally have an open door policy. When you have people who think they're doing something wrong, it's always hard to deal with them."
The dispute began in September, 1989, when the Alberta government granted Daishowa a 20-year forestry management tract of 29,000 square kilometres that includes the area of the Lubicons' land claim of 10,000 square kilometres.
But Daishowa has ducked serious negotiations, insisting that the matter is between the Canadian federal and provincial governments and the 500-member band.
The Lubicon crusade comes just after Daishowa put a $1-billion for-sale sign on its Peace River pulp mill, which has been in operation since 1990.
Although Daishowa president Kiminori Saito offered in a letter to arrange a meeting with executives of the Canadian subsidiary after the Lubicons returned to Canada, Mr. Ominayak characterized the offer as another brushoff.
"We came here to meet with the boss," he said.
Tom Hamaoka, president of Daishowa Canada Co. Ltd., said the Tokyo head office gave the Canadian subsidiary responsibility to deal with the land dispute, and that the Lubicons' visit to Tokyo has not changed this.
The stand taken by the Tokyo executives does not automatically mean that Daishowa will begin logging these timberlands in the near future, he said.
"We haven't solidified or announced our plans to harvest this fall," Mr. Hamaoka said in an interview from Vancouver, calling Mr. Ominayak's statement "a presumption on the part of the Lubicon and others."
Daishowa's Peace River pulp mill currently gets its wood from the west side of the Peace River, and has yet to decide when it will begin cutting on the disputed east side.
The Lubicons want the Japanese company to postpone logging until after their territorial claims are resolved.
Despite their failure to meet with the executives, the Lubicons did manage to focus Japanese public attention on the issue.
Mr. Ominayak met yesterday with Takako Doi, former chairwoman of the Social Democratic Party of Japan, and two other Japanese parliamentarians, who said they had not previously been aware of the problem, but were not interested.
Lawyers representing the Japanese Federation of Bar Associations also indicated they wanted to look closely at the Lubicon issue to see if their human rights were being violated.
"If everything the Lubicons say is true Daishowa's position is untenable," said Nobuo Kajima, a lawyer representing the bar association.
Mr. Ominayak was accompanied in Japan by lawyer Sam Bull from the Good Fish Lake Crees, his son Sam Bull Jr., and Lubicon adviser Fred Lennarson. Church groups in Canada and Japan picked up the costs of the trip. The group arrived in Japan on Sept. 9 and is scheduled to leave Japan today.
(With files by forest industry reporter Kimberley Noble in Toronto.)
Attachment #11: The Japan Times, Thursday, September 19, 1991
GROUP PROTESTS LOGGING ON CANADIAN INDIAN LAND
By Joy Tadaki
Chanting "Lubicon land for Lubicon people," about 40 demonstrators gathered outside the Tokyo head offices of Daishowa Paper Manufacturing Co. Wednesday to protest Japanese logging on traditional Canadian Indian land.
Daishowa Canada, a subsidiary of Tokyo Daishowa, plans to begin logging next month on a 29,000-sq-km area in northern Alberta, which blankets the disputed 10,000-sq-km lease currently occupied by Canadian Indians.
Terao Makoto, section chief at Daishowa International, said Wednesday in an interview with The Japan Times that the company will not meet with the four-member Lubicon Lake Indian Nation delegation.
The company said it legitimately bought logging rights from the Alberta government and the dispute remains a matter between the Indians and the Canadian federal government, according to a prepared Daishowa statement.
The company recently announced in a Japanese weekly a restructuring program that includes plans to sell the Canadian pulp plant for 1 billion Canadian dollars, about Y120 billion.
During the protest, representatives from the Catholic Mission of Justice and Peace, the National Christian Council in Japan, and the Japan Tropical Forest Action Network voiced support for the Lubicon delegation.
"Daishowa Seishi is a Japanese company and we must take responsibility for our corporations," said Kevin Uchida of NCCJ International Liaison.
"We are here today to say to Daishowa Seishi, keep your promise and to say the Lubicon lands are not for exploitation and development but Lubicon lands are for Lubicon people," Uchida said.
Despite Tokyo Daishowa's refusal to meet with the Canadian Indians, the group will continue attempts to stop Japanese clear-cut logging.
"I hope that the Japanese public understands and appreciates the fact that we made every effort to (prevent) a dispute from arising this fall," said Chief Bernard Ominayak, head of the Indian delegation.
Although Daishowa currently complies with Canadian law, Canada has been found by the United Nations to be in violation of human rights in its treatment of the Lubicon Indians, said delegation adviser Fred Lennarson.
"The last analysis is that if Daishowa does not stop this unneeded clear-cut logging, the Lubicon people made it very clear that they would stop Daishowa on the ground," he said.
Transcript of CBC TV News Broadcast (11:00 P.M.)
Friday, September 20, 1991
Larry Langley, CBC
The Chief of the Lubicon Indians says his Band is being pushed toward a confrontation with the Daishowa company. Bernard Ominayak has just returned from a trip to Japan. He went there to convince the management of the pulp and paper company not to log on what the Lubicons claim is their traditional land. But as Rick Boguski reports, company officials in Tokyo refused to speak to the Chief.
Rick Boguski, CBC
Chief Ominayak arrived back in Canada last night after ten days in Japan. He had gone there hoping to gain public support and hoping to convince Daishowa to stay away from what the Lubicons say are their traditional hunting lands. Ominayak got the support of Japanese christian groups and environmentalists, but their demonstration in downtown Tokyo wasn't enough to convince Daishowa officials to meet with the Chief.
Chief Bernard Ominayak, Lubicon Lake Indian Nation
If Daishowa wants to start clear-cutting this fall within our traditional territory, then we don't have very many options open. We tried to meet with them and that wasn't possible. So if they want to really start logging, then we've got problems.
The giant pulp and paper company began operating in Peace River just last year. But even before it was built, the Lubicon Chief says Daishowa executives in Canada promised not to do any logging until the Indians had settled their land claim with the government. Company officials now say that's just not true.
Tom Hamaoka, Daishowa Canada Vice-President and General Manager
The only promise we made to Bernard Ominayak in that meeting in March of 1988 -- and I was a participant in that particular meeting -- was we promised to consult with him before we began logging on the east side of the Peace River.
The company says despite Ominayak's claims, it hasn't decided yet just how extensive its logging operation will be. But if it does venture onto Lubicon land, Daishowa says Ominayak's fight should be with the federal and provincial governments, not with Daishowa. But the Chief says he's given up on the government.
(Boguski to Chief Ominayak)
So there's nothing left to do except to fight back then?
That's putting it in the simple form. I think governments would like to see people like Daishowa and the oil developers just get rid of the Lubicon people.
The Hon. R. Martin, Leader of the Alberta Official Opposition (NDP)
If you saw a major corporation coming in with the help of the government and start clearing out lands that you thought were yours, how would you feel?
Opposition leader Ray Martin says if the government is truly concerned with avoiding a confrontation with the Lubicons and Daishowa, it should intervene. But the Provincial Government says there's still some question over the Lubicons' claim to the land.
Al Adair, PC MLA, Peace River
That issue has not been settled. They're Crown lands within the Province of Alberta and have been since the institution of the Province itself. And of course that issue has remained unsolved to this point.
The Lubicons say there's nothing to settle. They say the land is theirs and they've been on it for hundreds of years -- long before Alberta ever became a Province. And if push comes to shove, the Lubicons say they'll fight for what they believe is theirs. Today the Lubicon Chief got on another plane. This time he's heading to Toronto hoping to drum up more support and make it clear the Lubicons will not move. Rick Boguski, CBC News, Edmonton.
Attachment #13: The Nikkei Weekly, Week ending September 28, 1991
CANADIAN INDIANS PROTEST DAISHOWA LOGGING PLANS
Paper company leased Native land
By Veldin Kattoula
Special to THE NIKKEI WEEKLY
A coalition of Indians, church leaders and environmentalists is moving to organize a campaign to block Daishowa Paper Mfg. Co. from going ahead with plans to begin logging on traditional Indian lands in Canada.
The conflict, involving territory in Alberta that was leased to a Daishowa subsidiary three years ago, has generated a storm of publicity in Canada.
Last week, a delegation of Lubicon Lake Cree Indians brought their case to Japan, heading a group of more than 50 protestors gathered outside Daishowa's Tokyo headquarters.
The protesters were refused permission to enter the building, and requests by the delegates to discuss their grievances with company officials were also denied. Afterward, the Indians said they were trying to organize a boycott of Daishowa products.
The debt-ridden Daishowa, Japan's second largest paper manufacturer, announced earlier this month that Daishowa Canada Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary, would begin logging activities in November.
At about the same time, the company disclosed a massive restructuring plan that includes the layoff of 40% of its total work force. Daishowa's financial troubles stem from the recent severe overcapacity in the industry.
But its troubles with the Indians date back to February 1988 when the Alberta provincial government granted Daishowa Canada a 25,000 sq. km. of land that the Lubicons claim as traditional territory. That claim is still under dispute with the Canadian government.
Nonetheless, after the lease was signed, Lubicon Chief Bernard Ominayak met with officials from Daishowa Canada and was assured the company would not log on Lubicon territory, according to the Indians.
The dispute took a serious turn when Buchanan Lumber, a Daishowa subcontractor, last November began logging on Lubicon land using clear-cut methods, which denude forests, degrade topsoil and prevent forest regeneration.
Within a month Buchanan Lumber's operations in the area were torched.
The subcontractor withdrew from the area shortly afterward.
According to the Indians, a Daishowa spokesman claimed that its 1988 agreement to leave the Lubicons' traditional land alone did not pertain to the activities of subsidiaries or subcontractors.
When the company announced plans to begin logging, Daishowa denied making any agreement with the Lubicons in 1988.
At a Sept. 19 press conference at Waseda University, the Indian delegation was asked what action the Lubicons would take if Daishowa went ahead with its plans.
Replied Sam Bull Jr.: "If you are slapped once you turn away but if you are slapped again you respond, or just let it go."
A Daishowa official said that, as far as the company is concerned, the land settlement rights issue is between the Canadian government, Alberta Province and Lubicon representatives.
Neither Canadian Embassy officials nor Alberta federal government representatives in Tokyo were available for comment.
The Lubicons have a record of vigorous opposition to the development of their land.
In 1978, the completion of an all-weather road on their land marked the beginning of intensive oil development. Between 1979 and 1982, over 400 oil wells were drilled in the area. The Lubicons' traditional hunting-based economy was destroyed, but not before the Indians protested, sometimes violently.
Attachment #14: Ecomedia Toronto Bulletin #105, September 27-October 10, 1991
LUBICONS TARGET DAISHOWA
Chief Bernard Ominayak got the cold shoulder from Daishowa officials in Tokyo last week. A Lubicon Lake Nation delegation was looking to meet with Daishowa to discuss the giant transnational's plans to clearcut unceded Lubicon territories starting this fall. Although Daishowa refused to meet Lubicon reps, claiming that clearcutting of unceded Lubicon territories by wholly-owned Daishowa subsidiaries is a matter between the government and the Nation and somehow doesn't involve the corporation, the Lubicons were well received by churches and popular organizations in Japan, whose aid is being enlisted to stop Daishowa.
Having endured the onslaught of oil and gas development for the last 15 years, and fought long and hard for a land rights settlement with both provincial and federal governments, the Lubicons aren't about to give up their territories in northern Alberta for fodder for the nearby Daishowa pulp mill. Yet the transnational is planning to begin logging their traditional territory as soon as the ground freezes, setting the stage for a potentially disastrous confrontation.
Supporters on the outside are mounting an international campaign against Daishowa...In Toronto the Friends of the Lubicon are pressuring the provincial government to stop the Liquor Control Board from using Daishowa paper bags. Other companies using Daishowa paper products (including Pizza Pizza, Cultures and Ho-Lee-Chow fast food chains) are also being approached. Daishowa is currently in a sorry financial state and economic pressure is likely the only avenue to make them back down.
Japanese-Canadians and First Nations people put together a benefit show September 20 in Toronto which raised $1500 for the Lubicon Nation, and was an opportunity to rally people behind the Nation and greet the Sacred Run, a cross-country run which was passing through Toronto. Another benefit is planned for October 10, Columbus Day, as a joint fundraiser for the Lubicons, the Innu, and Beedaudjimowin, a First Nations newspaper. The event will feature Seventh Fire, an Ottawa based band. Advance tickets $14.92, $19.92 at the door (get it?), available at the Toronto Women's Bookstore, This Ain't the Rosedale Library, and more. For info call 534-4811. To get involved in the anti-Daishowa campaign, call the Friends of the Lubicon at 416-783-4694.