Lubicon Lake Indian Nation
Little Buffalo Lake, AB
3536 - 106 Street
Edmonton, AB T6J 1A4
September 27, 1991
Enclosed for your information are a couple of newspaper articles regarding statements by Alberta New Democrat Environment Critic John McInnis on the expected confrontation between Daishowa and the Lubicons. The New Democrats are the official Opposition in the Alberta Provincial Legislature.
Attachment #1: The Edmonton Journal, Friday, September 27, 1991
LOGGING COULD SPUR VIOLENCE
MLA says logging should end until Lubicon claim is settled
Journal Staff Writer
Any attempt to cut timber on land claimed by the Lubicon Lake Indian band will probably result in more violence and a boycott of Alberta paper, warns New Democrat environment critic John McInnis.
"To allow further logging on the Lubicon land this winter would be a very disastrous mistake for the province of Alberta," McInnis said Thursday after a recent visit to the area.
Charges were laid late last year against some members of the Lubicon band after logging equipment in one of the disputed areas was destroyed by fire.
McInnis issued his warning prior to showing a video of several hectares of land laid bare by logging companies working for Daishowa Canada Ltd. The area is located on land which the Lubicons claim as their own.
"If our province gets a bad name for logging on traditional disputed areas of aboriginal areas it's going to hurt us in some of our overseas markets," McInnis said. "(Forestry Minister) LeRoy Fjordbotten is playing with fire."
Fjordbotten could not be reached for comment Thursday night.
McInnis compared the situation to the American Wild West, where Indians were pushed off their land without treaty agreements.
"In Canada we like to think we honorably negotiated treaties with aboriginal people to take care of their interests before we take control of their land," he said. "Unfortunately, that's not happened in the Lubicon case."
McInnis said he met with members of the band during his recent visit and got the impression they might resort to violence out of frustration.
He said the logging has forced wildlife to leave the area, ruining traplines and the traditional Indian hunting areas.