New Promise of Lubicon Negotiations -

Serious Attempt or Another Government Disinformation Campaign


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



November 16, 1991



On October 30, 1991, Lubicon Chief Bernard Ominayak received a phone call from an assistant of Peace River MP Albert Cooper. Mr. Cooper's assistant indicated that Mr. Cooper would like to set up a meeting between the Chief and Federal Indian Affairs Minister Tom Siddon the following Friday, November 1st, when Mr. Siddon was in Edmonton supposedly on other business. It's likely that Mr. Cooper was trying to set up the meeting for the Minister due to growing pressure on the Federal Government resulting from the Daishowa campaign but that Mr. Siddon didn't want people to think he was responding to such pressure. In fact Mr. Siddon went so far as to actually suggest to several reporters before the meeting that Chief Ominayak had requested the meeting. In response to close questioning by knowledgable reporters after the meeting, however, Mr. Siddon admitted that he'd requested the meeting.



Seeking a meeting because of pressure resulting from the Daishowa campaign is unfortunately not the same thing as genuinely seeking a settlement of Lubicon land rights. The evidence suggests instead that Mr. Siddon wanted a meeting with Chief Ominayak to launch yet another anti-Lubicon propaganda campaign, likely inspired by the pressure resulting from the Daishowa campaign, but still directed at defeating rather than settling with the Lubicon people. Prior to the Daishowa campaign Federal officials were confident that the Lubicons had been effectively destroyed. The increasingly effective Daishowa campaign has now apparently convinced Federal officials that the Lubicons aren't yet completely destroyed and Federal Indian Affairs Minister Siddon has consequently been dispatched to help finish the job.



Mr. Siddon asked that the meeting with Chief Ominayak be private, confidential, one-on-one, behind closed doors with no media notice or involvement. Chief Ominayak didn't like Mr. Siddon's preconditions, having lots of reason to distrust Federal motives behind requesting such a highly secretive meeting, but he reluctantly agreed not wishing to jeopardize a possibly sincere initiative on Mr. Siddon's part. The Chief needn't have worried about Mr. Siddon suddenly becoming sincere.



The meeting between the Minister and the Chief was set for Friday afternoon at 3 o'clock. That morning, at Mr. Siddon's request and contrary to his own meeting preconditions, Mr. Siddon met to discuss the up-coming meeting with the Editorial Board of the Edmonton Journal.



Mr. Siddon "suggested" to the Editorial Board that the Chief had requested the meeting. He said that he would be telling the Chief that the "take-it- or-leave-it" offer was still on the table but would have to be reduced to take into account the settlement with the Government-created Woodland Cree Band last summer. He said that another band was now being created by the Federal Government to the east of Lubicon Lake at Loon Lake which would soon reduce the "take-it-or-leave-it" offer still further. He said "If (the Loon Lake people) want to come forward on the basis of the (take-it- or-leave-it) offer made to the Lubicon then we are prepared to (do what he euphemistically called) negotiate a settlement". He said "It's a question of whether people want to wait, as Mr. Ominayak and his advisor seem to want to do, or if they want to settle". He said "Maybe they won't sign at Loon Lake if Lubicon Lake is there to make a deal".



Mr. Siddon went on to tell the Editorial Board that the Lubicons aren't "entitled" to compensation for the billions of dollars worth of resources taken from traditional Lubicon lands, because, he said, the Lubicon people no longer retain unceded aboriginal land rights over traditional Lubicon lands. He "insisted" that "other natives" who "shared those traditional lands with the Lubicons" had ceded aboriginal title to traditional Lubicon lands by either signing or adhering to Treaty No. 8. He failed to say that the only "other natives" who've "either signed to adhered to Treaty No. 8" and can claim any kind of ties to traditional Lubicon lands are the previously disparate individuals from a half-a-dozen different aboriginal societies surrounding the traditional Lubicon territory whom Mr. Siddon recently brought together to form the new Woodland Cree Band -- and who then signed a Government orchestrated adhesion to Treaty 8 only last summer as part of transparent Canadian Government efforts to subvert unceded Lubicon land rights.



If the Lubicons didn't agree with the Federal Government's position that they no longer retain unceded aboriginal land rights over traditional Lubicon territory, Mr. Siddon told the Editorial Board, they could challenge the Federal Government's position in the Canadian Courts. Mr. Siddon failed to mention that the Lubicon people tried for some 13 years to get the Canadian Courts to make the Canadian Government obey Canadian law with regard to unceded Lubicon territory, only to have the Government write legislation retroactively changing the law while one of the Lubicon legal actions was before the courts, then to face an ex-oil company lawyer turned Provincial Court judge who decided despite uncontested evidence to the contrary that the Lubicon people had no traditional way of life left to protect, then to face an appeal court judge who was the ex-family lawyer of the Provincial Premier and ex-partner of the senior oil company lawyer on the case, then to have a Lubicon application to freeze development in the traditional Lubicon territory pending judicial determination of Lubicon land rights denied by a panel of Provincial Court judges who decided that the Lubicon people didn't need an injunction to protect their traditional economy and way of life because they could supposedly "restore the wilderness" with money damages if they could ever "prove" to the Canadian courts that they own their traditional lands, then to face an ex-oil company lawyer turned Supreme Court judge who declined to even hear their appeal and has since retired from the bench and been appointed to the Board of one of the major oil companies operating in the Lubicon area, and then to be told that for procedural reasons there was not a single court in Canada prepared to hear their aboriginal rights case against the Canadian Federal Government even though the Federal Government has exclusive constitutional responsibility for dealing with aboriginal land rights in Canada. Neither did Mr. Siddon mention to the Editorial Board that the UN Human Rights Committee, after studying this horrendous Lubicon legal history, concluded that the Lubicons just simply couldn't achieve effective legal redress from the Canadian Courts.



Mr. Siddon then went on to try and bedazzle the Editorial Board with a provocative but deliberately misleading, inaccurate and essentially irrelevant per capita analysis of the Lubicon and Federal Government positions -- clearly designed only to inflame blind anti-Lubicon emotionalism and appeal to racist anti-Indian sentiment. What's of course really involved in Lubicon settlement proposals is not any kind of per capita calculation at all but rather detailed, specific proposals with related costs for specific items like buildings and roads which the Lubicon people are and always have been prepared to discuss publicly, and in fact to negotiate publicly, but Mr. Siddon doesn't want to publicly debate either the reasonableness or the cost of specific items. Rather in typical Mulroney Government fashion Mr. Siddon systematically avoided discussing the real issues in favour of simply depicting the other side as somehow unworthy, in this case unreasonably greedy, and by threatening terrible consequences if Canadians don't just blindly support the Government -- like a multi-billion dollar tax bill.



Mr. Siddon told the Editorial Board both that the Federal and Provincial Governments have offered 500 Lubicons "a benefits and compensation package...worth $100,000 per capita" and that "the Ottawa/Alberta package is worth $54 million". Aside from the fact that a per capita calculation of bottom line numbers isn't at all helpful in assessing the reasonableness of various Lubicon settlement proposals, Mr. Siddon's figures simply aren't right. 500 people times $100,000 per capita isn't $54 million and the only possible way to make the Government's so-called offer worth that kind of money is to totally ignore explicit Government qualifications and to include the cost of highly questionable items like a largely off-reserve Provincial Government road providing the Provincial Government access to the shores as bed of Lubicon Lake (as per the Grimshaw Agreement), and the 5 year cost of the Provincial Government operating an off-reserve academic up-grading trailer never proposed by the Lubicons.



Mr. Siddon told the Editorial Board that "the (500) Lubicons are asking for a package worth between $400,000 and $500,000 per capita" and that the Lubicon package would cost between $150 and $200 million". Again Mr. Siddon's numbers are purposefully provocative but unhelpful, and again his calculations simply aren't right. The total value of Lubicon settlement proposals is approximately $170 million. $400,000 per capita times 500 Lubicons would equal $200 million and $500,000 per capita times 500 Lubicons would equal $250 million.



Mr. Siddon told the Editorial Board that "if (the Canadian Government) were to offer the equivalent of what the Lubicons are asking for across Canada, the taxpayers are looking at a bill that would exceed $400 billion". He didn't say exactly who he's talking about -- there are only about 500,000 officially recognized Indians in Canada -- or how they'd all qualify for the so-called "equivalent" of the cost of rebuilding the shattered Lubicon economy and way of life -- which has in fact been systematically destroyed for the multi-billion dollar benefit of the rest of Canadian society -- but the unreasoning fear which he's deliberately seeking to instil by such dramatic statements is crystal clear. He's saying in his own sleazy and deliberately deceitful way that the settlement being sought by the Lubicons would somehow set a horrendously expensive precedent for the Canadian taxpayer, presumably even more costly than the interminable intergenerational poverty and welfare dependency guaranteed by the Federal Government's so-called "take-it-or-leave-it" offer, or even the $200 million plus spent a year ago last summer when the Canadian Army was used to temporarily repress one aggrieved aboriginal society.



Lastly in his meeting with the Editorial Board Mr. Siddon took a page from the tactics of the late US Senator Joseph McCarthy and used slanderous unsubstantiated charges, racist insinuations and carefully calculated innuendo to subvert and defame both the Lubicons and Lubicon advisor Fred Lennarson. Ignoring internationally well known and continuing genocide of the Lubicon people by both levels of Canadian Government in order to steal valuable Lubicon lands and resources, Mr. Siddon spoke darkly of Lubicon "advisors and consultants who have an interest in the process and in the process continuing". With feigned concern about the plight of the Lubicon people Mr. Siddon said "It is a terrible disservice to have this matter held up by other people who have other interests". Mr. Siddon charged that the real reason there's no settlement of Lubicon land rights is that the supposedly poor dumb Lubicons are somehow being manipulated into acting contrary to their own vital interests by Lubicon advisor Lennarson. And, Mr. Siddon charged, the reason that Lennarson supposedly wants to perpetuate the agony of this continuing tragedy is because, according to Mr. Siddon, "The (welfare-dependent) Lubicons are Lennarson's only meal ticket".



Having thus prepared the public back-drop for his supposedly private, confidential, behind closed doors meeting with the Chief Ominayak, Mr. Siddon then assumed a quite different demeanour during his actual meeting with the Chief. If he'd taken the same position with the Chief that he took with the Editorial Board, of course, the meeting with the Chief would have ended practically as soon as it started, denying both Mr. Siddon and officials of Daishowa the ability to claim, as they've both since done, that the Lubicons and Canadian Government are once again talking --after nearly three years.



Immediately following the meeting with the Editorial Board an Edmonton Journal reporter named Jack Danylchuk phoned the Lubicon Edmonton office and asked for the Chief's reactions to what Mr. Siddon had told the Editorial Board. Consequently Chief Ominayak was aware of what Mr. Siddon had told the Editorial Board and asked Mr. Siddon about Mr. Siddon's comments that the Federal Government's so-called "take-it-or-leave-it" offer not only still stood but would be reduced by 40 per cent to take into account the Woodland Cree settlement. Mr. Siddon declined to discuss the matter with the Chief, saying that he didn't want to get into matters of substance but only wanted to talk about how it would be possible to re- start "negotiations".



Faced with the unhappy prospect of more talks about talks regarding an offer already known to be unacceptable -- which would undoubtedly only be used politically by Government officials to deflect criticism of Government inaction and blunt the Daishowa boycott -- Chief Ominayak gave Mr. Siddon a copy of the draft settlement agreement which the Lubicon negotiating team had presented to the Province in June of 1990. The Chief asked Mr. Siddon for a reaction to the Lubicon draft settlement agreement in order to determine whether or not there was anything to talk about. Caught off guard by what amounted to a Lubicon counter-proposal to the Federal Government's so-called "take-it-or-leave-it" offer, Mr. Siddon agreed to study the Lubicon draft settlement proposal. Mr. Siddon didn't, however, give the Chief any timetable for providing the Chief with a reaction.

The following day, November 2nd, the Edmonton Journal printed a commentary by "Business Beat" writer Rod Ziegler basically echoing the transparent propaganda line used by Mr. Siddon during the meeting with the Editorial Board. Mr. Ziegler repeated Mr. Siddon's slanderous unsubstantiated charges, racist insinuations and carefully calculated innuendo regarding "advisors and consultants who have an interest in the process and the process continuing". Mr. Ziegler's offensive column ended by asking the question "who or what is really holding up the successful resolution of the Lubicon land claim dispute?"



On November 5th Chief Ominayak responded to Mr. Ziegler's 700 word column with a 1,400 word letter to the Editor of the Edmonton Journal. On November 12th the Journal "Letters Editor" phoned the Lubicon office and asked that the Chief's letter of response to Mr. Ziegler's 700 word column be "reduced" to 300 words. On November 15th the Chief wrote the "Letters Editor" a 302 word letter saying that "the Journal shouldn't print columns containing sleazy insinuations, innuendo and slanderous unsubstantiated charges without at least allowing injured parties the right of a full and detailed reply". The Chief concluded his 302 word letter to the Editor by offering to send his detailed, point-by-point 1,400 word letter of response directly to readers of the Edmonton Journal. (Copies of Mr. Ziegler's column and both of the Chief's related letters of response are attached.)

On November 4th the Edmonton Journal printed a letter to the Editor from Mr. Siddon, claiming, among other things, that the UN Human Rights Committee supported the Federal Government's so-called "take-it-or-leave- it" offer as an "appropriate remedy to the situation"; that the Lubicon people would have "the largest such settlement in the Province" if they accepted the Federal Government's so-called "take-it-or-leave-it" offer; and that both (Canadian) governments have indicated publicly their willingness to negotiate but the band has consistently refused to resume negotiations". On November 7th the Chief wrote the Editor of the Edmonton Journal a letter responding to Mr. Siddon's November 4th letter. On November 20th the Edmonton Journal printed an abridged version of the Chief's November 7th letter. (Copies of Mr. Siddon's November 4th letter and both versions of the Chief's November 7th letter are attached.)

On November 11th the Edmonton Journal printed an editorial on Mr. Siddon's latest anti-Lubicon propaganda initiative calling upon Mr. Siddon to "make a new and honourable offer soon". A copy of the Journal editoral and other related media coverage are also attached.


Attachment #1: Transcript of CBC Radio News Broadcast (12:30 P.M.) Friday, November 1, 1991



CBC Radio



The Minister of Indian Affairs is meeting this afternoon in Edmonton with the Chief of the Lubicon Indians. Tom Siddon and Chief Bernard Ominayak will meet at 3:00 at the Westin Hotel. The meeting will be private. The Lubicons say Siddon requested the meeting. No other details are available.


Attachment #2: Transcript of CKUA Radio News Report (5:15 P.M.) Friday, November 1, 1991



Don Bell, CKUA Radio



For the first time Bernard Ominayak, Chief of the Lubicon Lake Indian Band, met face to face with Tom Siddon, Minister of Indian Affairs, in Edmonton today. Siddon invited Ominayak to the meeting to ask for suggestions on how to re-start negotiations between Ottawa and the Lubicons in northern Alberta. Ominayak says he thinks progress in negotiations is possible.



Chief Bernard Ominayak, Lubicon Lake Indian Nation



The important thing, like I told Mr. Siddon, is if there's a will then there are ways to arrive at solutions.



Bell



But he's cautious because he says there's not yet been a time or place set for negotiations to begin. Siddon says he wanted to meet Ominayak today to become acquainted and to start to find ways to settle their disputes. He says no negotiations took place today, but he says he now better understands the position taken by the Lubicons.



Tom Siddon, Federal Minister of Indian Affairs



I understand very well the position that the Lubicons take and the principles that they have expressed in adhering to their position and I think the Chief understands very well that I can't change the mandate that I have from Cabinet to negotiate in terms of the legal and financial limits that are there. But the Chief did undertake to provide me with a document that they've prepared for discussion with the Province, which essentially, I suppose, will lay out the ways and means of getting back to the negotiating table.



Bell



Both sides say they are carefully hopeful that today's meeting is at least a good start in ending the stalemate.


Attachment #3: Transcript of CBC Radio News Broadcast (5:30 P.M.) Friday, November 1, 1991



Krysia Jarmicka, CBC News



The Federal Minister of Indian Affairs says he wants to know what it will take to get land claim talks going again with the Lubicon Indians. To find out, Tom Siddon met today in Edmonton with the Chief of the Lubicon Band, Bernard Ominayak. It is the first time the two have talked face to face. Dave Cooper reports.



Dave Cooper, CBC Radio



The Federal Government made what it called a final offer to the Lubicons of northern Alberta nearly 3 years ago. There have been no formal negotiations since then. But Tom Siddon says he'd like to settle the claim while he's still Minister of Indian Affairs. He says that that's why he asked for a face to face meeting with Lubicon Chief Bernard Ominayak.



Tom Siddon, Federal Minister of Indian Affairs



I felt it would be timely to have a private discussion with the Chief -- Minister to Chief -- as to the possibilities of getting on with settling the situation with the Lubicon people. That was the essence of our discussion.



Cooper



Ominayak and Siddon talked by themselves in the Minister's hotel room for a little more than 1/2 hour. When he came out, Ominayak said he would be sending Siddon a copy of the latest Lubicon proposal for a settlement.



Chief Bernard Ominayak, Lubicon Lake Indian Nation



I stated to him that if the will is there on the part of his government then I'm sure that we could find ways to arrive at a solution. Now we're still a long ways from anything at this point, and in fact we don't even know if negotiations are going to proceed until they've had a chance and an opportunity to consider the counter-proposal that we made.



Cooper



Siddon says the same offer Ottawa made to the Lubicons three years ago is still on the table. But he also says he is willing to look at the Lubicon proposal if it's a way to get negotiations going again. Dave Cooper, CBC Radio, Edmonton


Attachment #4: Transcript of CBC TV News Broadcast (6:00 P.M.) Friday, November 1, 1991



Bob Chelmick, CBC



There was a meeting today between the Lubicon Indians and the Federal Government. In a surprise move today the Federal Minister of Indian Affairs met with the Chief, Bernard Ominayak, in Edmonton. The two sides remain far apart on the issue of a land claim settlement for the Lubicons, but, as Rick Boguski tells us tonight, the fact that they're even talking is a sign of progress.



Rich Boguski, CBC



Lubicon Chief Bernard Ominayak arrived at an Edmonton hotel this afternoon for private talks with Federal Indian Affairs Minister Tom Siddon. Siddon's office, the Chief said, had called him with an offer to help settle the Band's land claim dispute that's dragged on for more than 50 years.



Chief Bernard Ominayak, Lubicon Lake Indian Nation



I just don't know what to expect from these guys any more. If there's any seriousness, I hope we will be able to arrive at some kind of process whereby we can get some serious discussions going.



Boguski



Talks broke down between the government and the Lubicons two years ago, after the Government presented the Lubicons with what the government called a "take-it-or-leave-it" offer -- $45 million to create a reserve for the Lubicons in northern Alberta and get people on their feet again. The Lubicons said it was nowhere near what they really needed. They're looking for approximately $170 million.



Tom Siddon, Federal Minister of Indian Affairs



Well Chief, I thought it was time we had a good chance to talk.



Boguski



The meeting took place behind closed doors for more than 1/2 hour. When the meeting was over, Ominayak held out little hope for a quick deal.



Ominayak



What I got, basically, was that he would like to get it resolved while he's the Indian Affairs Minister. He wouldn't like to leave it outstanding if he should leave at any point. Again, I stated to him that if the will is there on the part of his government, then I'm sure that we could find ways to arrive at a solution.



Boguski



But doing that might be difficult. While Ominayak said he would present the government with a counter-proposal the Band drafted more than a year ago, Siddon said the government's last "take-it-or-leave-it" offer hasn't changed.



Siddon



That offer still stands, of course. I have no mandate to change that offer. But I'm certainly most prepared to hear from the Chief and the document that he's presenting me with this afternoon will be something we'll look at very, very carefully. I'm going to be meeting the Minister for Alberta later today and we'll see what he feels. I would like to see us make some progress on this question now.



Boguski



Both sides are still a long ways apart. In fact they don't even know if negotiations will take place. But today's meeting marks a first -- it's the first time that the Chief and the Indian Affairs Minister have sat down face to face for talks. Rick Boguski, CBC News, Edmonton.


Attachment #5: THE EDMONTON JOURNAL, Saturday, November 2, 1991

LUBICON CHIEF, MINISTER MEET IN BID TO RESTART LAND TALKS



Jack Danylchuk

Journal Staff Writer

Edmonton



Lubicon Chief Bernard Ominayak and Indian Affairs Minister Tom Siddon dusted off old proposals Friday in a bid to restart land-claim talks that stalled almost three years ago.



The Lubicons still want $170 million and 246 sq. km of reserve land, but the federal government's offer may turn out to be much less than the take- it-or-leave-it package of $45 million and 246 sq. km it countered with in January 1989.



Arranged at Siddon's request, Ominayak's first-ever meeting with an Indian affairs minster "went well," Siddon said after spending 40 minutes along with the chief.



Ominayak's assessment was more guarded: "We're still a long ways from anything; we don't even know if negotiations are going to proceed.

"He was asking for ways to start dialogue," said Ominayak.

"If there is any way to start on those bases, they know how to get hold of us and we'll leave it at that."



The band's position is essentially the same one it staked out in January 1989, when the federal government countered with the take-it-or-leave-it offer.



Siddon spoke separately with reporters after the meeting and said "there is an offer on the table that was presented in 1989. That offer still stands; I have no mandate to change it."



However, the minister told THE JOURNAL's editorial board earlier Friday that a settlement last summer with the Woodland Cree will almost certainly reduce whatever offer Ottawa makes to the Lubicons.



"I have a budgetary ceiling of $45 million. Period. We've settled with the Woodland Cree at 40 per cent of that," said Siddon.



Any offer to the Lubicons would be based "on provable adherents to the Lubicon Lake band. It's up to the chief to produce (the band list) if we get back to negotiation."



The controversial $47.5 million, 160-sq.-km settlement with the Woodland Cree enticed as many as 125 Lubicon to join the new band that Siddon created under a special section of the Indian Act.



"It's a question of whether people want to wait, as Mr. Ominayak and his adviser seem to want to do, or if they want to settle," Siddon said.

Another band is being organized at Loon Lake. If it is formally recognized, the new band would likely draw away still more Lubicon members.

"If they want to come forward on the basis of the offer made to the Lubicon then we are prepared to negotiate a settlement," Siddon told the editorial board.



"It's a question of whether people want to wait. Maybe they won't sign at Loon Lake if Lubicon Lake is there to make a deal."



Fred Lennarson, adviser to the Lubicons, waited in the hallway while Ominayak and Siddon talked in the minister's hotel room. He speculated that Siddon asked for the meeting because of pressure from Daishowa Canada. Much of the wood Daishowa needs to feed its Peace River pulp mill is on land claimed by the band.



But Siddon said he sought the meeting because "I felt it was timely to have a private discussion, minister to chief, as to settling the situation with the Lubicon people."


Attachment #6: ALBERTA NATIVE NEWS, November, 1991



LUBICON CHIEF MEETS WITH SIDDON



by Dale Stelter



Lubicon Chief Bernard Ominayak and Indian Affairs Minister Tom Siddon met briefly in Edmonton on November 1st.



The meeting was initiated at the request of Siddon, who did not offer much information to Ominayak other than to say that he wanted to restart negotiations on the Lubicon's long-standing land rights dispute.



However, Siddon told the EDMONTON JOURNAL that the Canadian government's offer to the Lubicon may end up being less than the take-it-or-leave-it package it put forth in January of 1989. That package would provide the Lubicon up to $45-million and 246 square kilometres of land.



During the meeting with Siddon, Ominayak gave the minister a copy of the draft settlement which the Lubicon had prepared in response to the federal offer, and had presented to the Alberta government in June of 1990.



The Lubicon are awaiting Siddon's reaction.



The Lubicon are asking for approximately $170 million, to go with the 246 sq. km. of reserve land. The Lubicon maintain that this amount is essential if they are to build a self-sufficient community and ensure control over their own lives, after the destruction of their traditional economy and way of life by oil and gas development.



Band advisor Fred Lennarson stated that the Canadian government is under heavy criticism on a number of fronts for its handling of Native issues, and wants to give the appearance that it is taking action on the Lubicon situation. He said that there is no evidence that the federal government wants to take part in serious negotiations.



Assembly of First Nations Chief Ovide Mercredi has called for "all fair- minded people" to support the Lubicon in preventing "this destruction".



He stated that "The Assembly of First Nations calls on the growing numbers of concerned people, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, to stand with the Lubicon People in non-violent defence of their heritage and future. We all must be prepared to act if there is going to be anything left for the Lubicons -- or other First Nations under similar threat. We must not let unceded lands be lost forever to their Aboriginal claimants."



In a related issue, it has been reported in the media that Daishowa Canada and the Alberta government have reached an informal agreement allocating alternate land to the forestry company, so that it will not be logging on land claimed by the Lubicon. Lennarson stated, however, that the Lubicon have not been officially informed of that agreement.



Lennarson emphasized that until the Lubicon's land rights dispute is settled, and an agreement is reached that satisfied Lubicon concerns about wildlife and environmental protection, there must be an unequivocal commitment that neither Daishowa nor Brewster Construction (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daishowa) will log on Lubicon traditional land.


Attachment #7: THE EDMONTON JOURNAL, Saturday, November 2, 1991

SIDDON HINTS DAISHOWA ISSUE IS RED HERRING IN LUBICON DISPUTE

Rod Ziegler

Business Beat



Daishowa Paper Company has not sold its Peace River pulp mill to Marubeni Corporation.



"The reports are unfounded," Daishowa Canada Vice-President Tom Hamaoka said Friday. "I categorically deny that a sale has taken place.



"Marubeni Corp. had expressed an interest in working with Daishowa in Daishowa's Alberta operations. Daishowa is prepared to start preliminary discussions." (Marubeni and Daishowa each own 25 per cent of the Caribou Pulp and Paper mill in Quesnel, B.C. Weldwood Canada owns the other half.)



"Marubeni had wanted to come in with us when we built the Peace River mill," Hamaoka said, "but we decided to go it alone. We are prepared to discuss other arrangements but it should be clearly understood that Daishowa plans to maintain a significant presence in Alberta, now and in the future."



Whatever the fate of Daishowa's Peace River mill, there is no need for it to be an impediment to the successful resolution of the Lubicon Lake Band's land claim dispute with Ottawa.



That inference was raised by Indian Affairs Minister Tom Siddon, in a letter to the editor published in today's JOURNAL. In the letter, Siddon takes issue with Tom Hamaoka's remarks last month that Ottawa and Alberta should "face up to their responsibility across Canada to settle native land claims."



Siddon's letter concludes: "I would urge Mr. Hamaoka to directly encourage Chief (Bernard) Ominayak to join Alberta and Canada at the negotiating table."



With respect, I think Hamaoka's original Oct. 9 remarks are valid. The guts of his remarks in a luncheon speech to an Edmonton Chamber of Commerce meeting were: don't use Daishowa as a pawn, as a lever to put pressure on both sides in the Lubicon land dispute.



On Friday, Siddon had a one-on-one meeting with Lubicon Lake Band Chief Bernard Ominayak (the first time the two had met). Before that meeting, Siddon explained to the JOURNAL's editorial board that he simply wanted to meet Ominayak. However, implicit in that remark is the suggestion that perhaps, just perhaps there is something the two men can say to each other that might help break the deadlock on the Lubicon's land claim.



It's important to strip the emotion from any discussion of what the Lubicon Cree are asking and what Ottawa is offering. Siddon says the Lubicon's claim to a traditional 7,000-square-miles is not valid because the Lubicon's rights were dealt with in a treaty signed by natives in the area in 1899. The Lubicons disagree, saying they did not sign this treaty and, therefore, their aboriginal rights were not "extinguished."



And, since the Lubicons insist their rights remain intact, they say they are entitled to compensation for all the wealth that was taken from their traditional hunting and fishing areas since Treaty No. 8 was signed in 1899. Ottawa insists that other natives, who shared those traditional lands with the Lubicons, either signed or adhered to Treaty No. 8; that the Lubicons, therefore, do not hold aboriginal title to the land they claim. And Ottawa invites the Lubicons to challenge that position in the courts, courts the Lubicons say they do not recognize as legitimate.



Siddon says that Ottawa and Alberta have offered a benefits and compensation package for 490 to 500 Lubicons worth $100,000 per capita; that the Lubicons are asking for a package worth between $400,000 and $500,000 per capita. The minister says the Ottawa/Alberta package is worth $54 million; that the Lubicons are demanding a package that would cost between $150 million and $200 million.



Perhaps Siddon's most telling point, though, is this. "If we were to offer the equivalent of what the Lubicons are asking for across Canada, the taxpayers of Canada are looking at a bill that would exceed $400 billion."



Equally telling is Siddon's comment that it is a terrible disservice to have this matter held up by other people who have other interests. Siddon spoke of "advisors and consultants" who have an interest in the process and in the process continuing.



Maybe the question you and I should be asking is who or what is really holding up the successful resolution of the Lubicon land claim dispute?


Attachment #8: November 5, 1991, letter from Chief Ominayak to the editor of THE EDMONTON JOURNAL



Dear Sir/Madam:



Business Beat writer Rod Ziegler's November 2nd column on Daishowa and the Lubicons was disappointing, not because of the deliberately misleading things which Federal Indian Affairs Minister Tom Siddon predictably told Mr. Ziegler, but because Mr. Ziegler apparently accepted without question and then repeated as fact things which most informed readers of the Edmonton Journal would immediately recognize and challenge as calculated Federal Government disinformation specifically designed to inflame emotions and appeal to racist sentiment.



Curiously Mr. Ziegler himself says in his column that "it's important to strip away the emotion from any discussion of what the Lubicon Cree are asking and what Ottawa is offering". We agree with that view and consequently some time ago provided Mr. Ziegler with a copy of both the Federal Government's so-called "take-it-or-leave-it" offer to the Lubicons, and with a copy of the draft settlement offer which we prepared spelling out in detail exactly what we believe will be necessary to start rebuilding our shattered economy and way of life. Rather than examining and comparing the items and costs provided in these two documents, however, Mr. Ziegler chose to ignore the detailed item by item information in favour of simply echoing Mr. Siddon's sleazy innuendo and provocative but essentially irrelevant per capita calculations -- an approach obviously designed by professional Federal Government propagandists to generate more heat than light.



Mr. Ziegler mentions that Mr. Siddon met with the editorial board of the Edmonton Journal before his November 1st meeting with me, explaining to the editorial board that he "simply wanted to meet (me). "Implicit in that remark", Mr. Ziegler says, "is the suggestion that perhaps, just perhaps there is something the two men can say to each other that might help break the deadlock on the Lubicon land claim". Mr. Ziegler then proceeds to report on the other things which Mr. Siddon told the editorial board, none of which by any stretch of the imagination can be considered anything other than a calculated continuation of the Federal Government's deliberately subversive and deceitful anti-Lubicon propaganda campaign. In this regard, and consistent with what we've all come to expect from representatives of the Mulroney Government, it should also be noted that Mr. Siddon met and made his calculated propaganda pitch to the editorial board AFTER seeking and obtaining agreement from me that neither of us would inform or discuss our upcoming meeting with the media.



Mr. Ziegler reports, apparently without realizing that he's doing so or its significance, that Mr. Siddon in effect admitted to the editorial board that the real reason the Federal Government created the so-called Woodland Cree Band was to subvert unceded Lubicon aboriginal land rights. In the past Federal Government representatives have tried to maintain that they created the so-called Woodland Cree Band because of some sudden, unexpected and overwhelming desire to immediately acknowledge the rights of this small number of particular aboriginal individuals -- out of all of the aboriginal people and aboriginal societies across the land who've been seeking recognition from a totally unresponsive Federal Government for decades. Now Mr. Siddon tells an apparently unquestioning and uncritical Mr. Ziegler that the Lubicon people no longer retain unextinguished aboriginal land rights to our unceded traditional territory because, supposedly, "other natives, who shared those traditional lands with the Lubicons, either signed or adhered to Treaty No. 8". The only "other natives" who've "either signed or adhered to Treaty No. 8" and can claim any ties to our unceded traditional territory are the individuals now comprising the so- called Woodland Cree Band recently created out of whole cloth by the Canadian Federal Government.



If the Lubicons don't agree that we no longer own our traditional territory, Mr. Ziegler says, Mr. Siddon "invites (us) to challenge (the Federal Government's) position in the (Canadian) courts" -- courts which Mr. Ziegler rightly says we don't recognize as having jurisdiction over our unceded traditional territory. What Mr. Ziegler fails to report is that we tried for some 13 years to get the Canadian courts to make the Canadian Government obey Canadian law with regard to our unceded traditional territory, only to have the Government write retroactive legislation changing the law while one of our legal actions was before the Canadian courts; then we faced an ex-oil company head lawyer turned Provincial Court judge who decided despite uncontested evidence to the contrary that we had no traditional way of life left to protect; then we faced an appeal court judge who was the ex-partner of the senior oil company lawyer on the case; then our application to freeze development activity in our traditional territory pending settlement of the land ownership question was denied by a panel of Provincial Court judges who decided that we didn't need an injunction because we could "restore the wilderness" with money damages if we could ever prove to the Canadian Courts that we owned our unceded traditional territory; then we faced an ex-oil company lawyer turned Supreme Court judge who declined to even hear our appeal and has since retired from the bench and been appointed to the board one of the oil companies actively working in our area; then we were advised that for procedural reasons there was not one single court in Canada prepared to hear our aboriginal land rights case against the Canadian Federal Government even though the Federal Government has exclusive Constitutional responsibility for dealing with Indian land rights in Canada. Given this experience, and the clear inability of the Canadian courts to deal equitably if at all with the question of aboriginal land rights in Canada, we "invite" the Canadian Government to have the ownership of our unceded traditional territory decided by the Lubicon courts.



Mr. Siddon told Mr. Ziegler that the Federal and Provincial Governments have offered the Lubicons "a benefits and compensation package...worth $100,000 per capita; that the Lubicons are asking for a package worth between $400,000 and $500,000 per capita... (that)...the Ottawa/Alberta package is worth $54 million...(and) ...that the Lubicons are demanding a package that would cost between $150 and $200 million". Awe inspiring numbers to be sure, especially at a time when Mulroney Government mismanagement has made a shambles of the Canadian economy -- but hardly informative or "stripped of emotion". Far more useful would be an examination of exactly what the Lubicons are proposing to do and at what cost, compared to what the Canadian Government is offering on a "take-it- or-leave-it" basis for rights to our unceded, resource rich 4,000 square mile traditional territory. The Lubicon people are and have always been prepared to discuss such details publicly, and in fact to negotiate in public, but the Mulroney Government doesn't want to publicly debate either the reasonableness or the cost of specific items. Rather, in typical Mulroney Government fashion, Mr. Siddon systematically avoids the real issues, suggests that the other side is somehow unworthy (in this case unreasonably greedy), and then threatens horrific consequences if people don't support the Government -- like a huge tax bill.



Mr. Ziegler says that Mr. Siddon's "most telling point" is perhaps that "if (the Canadian Government) were to offer the equivalent of what the Lubicons are asking for across Canada, the taxpayers of Canada are looking at a bill that would exceed $400 billion". Telling to whom, Mr. Ziegler, and telling what? Of what conceivable relevance is the cost of rebuilding the Lubicon economy and way of life, which has been systemically destroyed for the multi-billion dollar benefit of the rest of Canadian society, to the completely ridiculous, unrelated and totally out of the question idea of simply doling out without rhyme or reason $500,000 to each of the Indians across Canada. Maybe an even more "telling point" is that Mr. Ziegler somehow perceives relevance in such an obviously contrived appeal to blind emotionalism and racist sentiment.



"Equally telling", Mr. Ziegler says, "is Siddon's comment that it is a terrible disservice to have this matter held up by other people who have other interests". "Siddon spoke", Mr. Ziegler says, "of advisors and consultants who have an interest in the process and in the process continuing". "Maybe the question you and I should be asking", Mr. Ziegler concludes, "is who or what is really holding up the successful resolution of the Lubicon land claim dispute?"



We disagree. We think the question we should all be asking, both of Mr. Siddon and of Mr. Ziegler, is what kind of people make and then repeat such unsubstantiated and slanderous charges, especially when they have the facts in front of them and should know better.



Sincerely,



Bernard Ominayak, Chief

Lubicon Lake Indian Nation


Attachment #9: November 15, 1991, letter from Chief Bernard Ominayak to the editor of THE EDMONTON JOURNAL



Dear Sir/Madam:



On November 2nd the Edmonton Journal printed a 700 word commentary by "Business Beat" columnist Rod Ziegler on Daishowa and the Lubicons. Mr. Ziegler wrote the column after talking with Federal Indian Affairs Minster Tom Siddon. In the column Mr. Ziegler accepted without question and then repeated things said by Mr. Siddon which are nothing more than calculated Federal Government disinformation deliberately designed to impugn motives, inflame emotions, appeal to racist sentiment and subvert Lubicon land rights.



On November 5th I sent the Editor of the Edmonton Journal a 1,400 word letter responding to Mr. Ziegler's column. It took 1,400 words to respond fully to the deceitful and subversive impressions deliberately created by Mr. Siddon and then repeated by Mr. Ziegler.



On November 12th we received a telephone call from Journal "Letters Editor" Ralph Armstrong asking that I "reduce" my 1,400 word letter of response to 300 words -- less than half the length of Mr. Ziegler's offending column.

In my judgement it's not possible to adequately respond in 300 words to all of the deliberately deceitful and subversive disinformation contained in Mr. Ziegler's column. Nor do I think that the Journal should print columns containing sleazy insinuations, innuendo and slanderous unsubstantiated charges without at least allowing injured parties the right of a full and detailed reply.



I would therefore like to use my allowable 300 words to offer readers of the Edmonton Journal a copy of our detailed, 1,400 word point-by-point response to Messrs. Siddon and Ziegler. Copies can be obtained by phoning 436-5652 in Edmonton or by writing to our Edmonton office at 3536 106th Street, T6J 1A4.



Sincerely,



Bernard Ominayak, Chief

Lubicon Lake Indian Nation


Attachment #10: THE EDMONTON JOURNAL, Monday, November 4, 1991

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR



INDIAN AFFAIRS MINISTER TOM SIDDON REPLIES:

OTTAWA MEETING ITS CLAIM OBLIGATIONS



Tom Hamaoka, vice-president of Daishowa Canada, who said the Canadian and provincial governments must face up to their responsibility across Canada to settle native land claims (Province urged to resolve native land claims, JOURNAL, Oct. 10), knows that the Alberta and federal governments have made a substantial offer to the Lubicon Lake band, an offer that the United Nations human rights committee has considered to be an appropriate remedy to the situation and which many others have referred to as reasonable, fair and generous.



Indeed, if settled, the Lubicon claim would represent the largest such settlement in the province. Unfortunately, the band leadership has rejected the offer. Both governments have indicated publicly their willingness to negotiate, but the band has consistently refused to resume negotiations. We cannot, nor will we, impose a settlement.



The Canadian government is indeed meeting its responsibility to settle native land claims right across the country. When the prime minister unveiled the native agenda in September of last year, he indicated that no issue was more urgent than the quick and fair settlement of land claims. Since that announcement, we introduced a $355-million initiative to ensure a faster and fairer process for settling specific claims. An independent specific claims commission has been established, and significant additional resources have been provided for the settlement of such claims.



In British Columbia, we established a tripartite task force to provide direction on how best to negotiate the comprehensive claims there. The task force has submitted its report and has provided valuable recommendations on settling that issue. The government has also removed the six-claim limit on the number of comprehensive claims that can be negotiated at one time.



I recently signed a $481-million cost-sharing agreement with the Saskatchewan government that will provide 27 bands there with the money to buy the land they were entitled to under treaties but had never received.



In the Treaty No. 8 area that concerns the Lubicon more specifically, Canada and Alberta have successfully negotiated major final claim settlements with Fort Chipewyan, Whitefish Lake, Sturgeon Lake and Woodland Cree Indian bands.



I suggest to Hamaoka that his efforts might better be directed at Lubicon Chief Bernard Ominayak, and I urge Hamaoka to directly encourage Ominayak to join Alberta and Canada at the negotiating table. Federal negotiator Brian Malone remains anxious to meet Ominayak. The federal government remains committed to resolving this major land claim.



Tom Siddon, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Ottawa


Attachment #11: November 7, 1991, letter from Chief Ominayak to the editor of THE EDMONTON JOURNAL



Dear Sir/Madam:



On November 4th the Edmonton Journal printed a letter from Federal Indian Affairs Minister Tom Siddon entitled "Ottawa meeting its claim obligations". Mr. Siddon's letter predictably contains the kind of distortions, misrepresentations and outright fabrications that Canadians have come to expect from representatives of the Mulroney Government.



In his letter Mr. Siddon claims that "the Alberta and federal governments have made a substantial offer to the Lubicon Lake band", which, he says, "the United Nations human rights committee has considered to be an appropriate remedy to the situation". In fact that's not what the Human Rights Committee decision says; nor is it what members of the Human Rights Committee intended. The actual wording of the U.N. decision, which is unfortunately less crisp than is desirable when dealing with people who have no honour and are always looking for ways around their agreements, reads as follows:



"Historical inequities, to which the State party refers, and certain more recent developments threaten the way of life and culture of the Lubicon Lake Band, and constitute a violation of article 27 (of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights) AS LONG AS THEY CONTINUE (capitalizition added). The State party proposes to rectify the situation by a remedy that the Committee deems appropriate within the meaning of article 2 of the Covenant. (Article 2 of the Covenant says basically that each party to the Covenant, which includes Canada, undertakes to ensure that the rights of all people living within its boundaries are respected.)"



The finding that Canada is in continuing violation of article 27 is of course a far more clear-cut finding with far more clear-cut consequences -- including that Canada is now being reported annually to the General Assembly of the United Nations along with South Africa as a violator of human rights -- than is the finding that Canada "proposes to rectify the situation with an (unspecified) remedy that the Committee deems appropriate..." Asked by reporters to clarify the second part of the decision Committee officials were quoted as saying that "the wording was left deliberately vague so that both parties can interpret it their own way and get back to the table". Legal scholars have subsequently interpreted the wording of the decision as an effort on the Committee's part to encourage Canada to pursue a negotiated rather than a litigated settlement, especially since the Committee had earlier concluded that the Lubicons couldn't achieve effective legal redress within Canada, and that the words "appropriate remedy" in this context can only mean approval of the Federal Government seeking a negotiated settlement with the Lubicon people, rather than approval of the Federal Government's so-called "take-it-or-leave-it" offer which Committee members knew was untenable when they found Canada to be in continuing violation of the civil and political rights of the Lubicon people until the matter is settled.



Mr. Siddon claims that "many others have referred to (the so-called "take- it-or-leave-it" offer) as reasonable, fair and generous". What others? Even Alberta Provincial Premier Don Getty has publicly described the Federal Government's so-called "take-it-or-leave-it" offer as "deficient in the area of providing economic stability for the future".



Mr. Siddon claims that the Lubicon people would have "the largest such settlement in the Province" if we accepted the Federal Government's so- called "take-it-or-leave-it" offer. By what criteria? All of the other recent settlements in Alberta have been outstanding treaty land entitlements under a treaty to which we aren't a party, with the result that our situation has far more in common with comprehensive settlements elsewhere than it does with "such settlements" in Alberta. The proposed Lubicon settlement would provide the Lubicon people with about 121 acres per person of reserve land. By way of comparison with comprehensive settlements elsewhere, the Dene/Metis Agreement-in-Principle provides 196 acres of reserve land per person; the James Bay Agreement provides 221 acres per person; the Inuit Agreement-in-Principle provides 523 acres per person; the Yukon Agreement-in-Principle provides 988 acres per person and the Invialuit Agreement provides 1,087 acres per person.



Even compared to recent outstanding treaty land entitlements in Alberta, Mr. Siddon's claim that the Lubicons would have the "largest such settlement in the Province" just simply isn't true. While the Fort Chip agreement provides only between 10 to 20 acres per person (depending upon whether or not one counts reserve land sold to the Provincial Government as a part of the settlement agreement), and the so-called Woodland Cree received as little as 65 acres per person (depending upon whether all of the people added to the Woodland Cree Band list by the Federal Government are counted for purposes of calculating reserve land size), the Whitefish Lake Agreement provides 124 acres of reserve land per person and the Sturgeon Lake Agreement provides between 477 to 772 acres per person (depending upon whether one counts the 21 Sturgeon Lake people whom the Province agreed were entitled or the 34 people the Sturgeon Lake Band said were entitled).



The situation is no different regarding the financial components of these various agreements. Basic reserve set-up costs in all of the other Alberta settlements -- excepting only the Government-created Woodland Cree Band whose Government selected and paid lawyer "negotiated" a settlement on their behalf very similar to the "take-it-or-leave-it" offer to the Lubicons -- have been financed by the Federal Government over the years out of other funds. In other words settlement monies in these other Alberta settlement agreements are on top of or in addition to basic reserve set-up costs. No such settlement monies on top of reserve set-up costs are included in the so-called "take-it-or-leave-it" offer to the Lubicons. The Woodland Agreement provides for per capita distribution of an estimated $5 million of $19 million supposedly designated for reserve socio-economic development. The Fort Chip Agreement provides $22,166 per person on top of reserve set-up costs calculated on a per capita basis. The Sturgeon Lake Agreement provides between $178,030 and $288,238 per person on top of reserve set-up costs calculated on a per capita basis (depending upon whether one counts the 21 Sturgeon Lake people accepted by the Province or the 34 people claimed by the Sturgeon Lake Band). And the Whitefish Lake Agreement provides $418,425 per person on top of reserve set-up costs calculated on a per capita basis.



Lastly Mr. Siddon claims that "both governments have indicated publicly their willingness to negotiate but the band has consistently refused to resume negotiations"; that "Federal negotiator Brian Malone remains anxious to meet Ominayak" and that "The federal government remains committed to resolving this major land claim". These are the biggest lies of all.



The Lubicon people have never refused to negotiate and were in fact trying to negotiate up to January 24, 1989, when Federal negotiator Brian Malone tabled a surprise "take-it-or-leave-it" offer to the Lubicons which Federal officials knew in advance was unacceptable because it deliberately provided no hope of our ever again becoming socially, politically or economically self-sufficient. At that time Mr. Malone told us that we had a choice of either accepting the Federal Government's "take-it-or-leave-it" offer or that the negotiations were over and we could "go to the end of the line (of aboriginal people seeking to negotiate a settlement of their aboriginal land rights with the Canadian Government)".



After deliberately breaking down negotiations with a "take-it-or-leave-it" offer which they knew in advance was unacceptable, Federal officials immediately commenced a massive, pre-prepared anti-Lubicon propaganda campaign which included press statements describing the break-down in negotiations (obviously written before Federal officials deliberately broke down negotiations), a national media campaign making all kinds of ridiculous claims about our position with the catchy theme of "greed not need", an international mail campaign sending these same pre-prepared anti- Lubicon propaganda materials to people around the world who'd written the government over the years expressing concern over our plight, a deliberately deceitful submission to the UN Human Rights Committee claiming that the "take-it-or-leave-it" offer contained things which it demonstrably did not contain, the actual sending of government agents into non-native communities surrounding the traditional Lubicon territory in an effort to organize the political overthrow of duly elected Lubicon leadership, and, when politically overthrowing duly elected Lubicon leadership proved impossible, the creation of the so-called Woodland Cree Band with supposedly equal rights to our unceded traditional territory.



As Mr. Siddon made abundantly clear last week to the Editorial Board of the Edmonton Journal, the Federal Government's position on negotiations has not changed one bit since the tabling of the so-called "take-it-or-leave-it" offer. In fact Mr. Siddon told the Editorial Board that 40 per cent of the so-called "take-it-or-leave-it" offer had been given to the Government- created Woodland Cree Band and he threatened to give more of it to another new Band now being created by the Federal Government to the east of us at Loon Lake. One of the Calgary lawyers hired with Federal funds to represent the so-called Woodland and Loon Lake Bands has admitted to friends that the entire purpose of creating the Woodland and Loon Lake Bands is to destroy the Lubicon society. And Daishowa spokesman Jim Morrison is telling people that Daishowa is being advised by the Federal Government to just be patient -- that "after (Federal officials) have settled with the Woodland Cree and the Loon Lake people, and when the Lubicons see all of these other people driving around in new cars, the Lubicons will want to come in and settle too (on whatever terms Federal officials dictate)".



This is the way that the Mulroney Government is meeting its obligations to respect and ensure the constitutionally protected aboriginal land rights of aboriginal people in Canada.



Sincerely,



Bernard Ominayak, Chief

Lubicon Lake Indian Nation


Attachment #12: THE EDMONTON JOURNAL, Letters to the Editor, Wednesday, November 20, 1991



LUBICON CHIEF REBUTS INDIAN AFFAIRS MINISTER'S LETTER

SIDDON'S CLAIMS WRONG -- OMINAYAK



Indian Affairs Minister Tom Siddon's Nov. 4th letter (Ottawa meeting its claim obligations, Letters) contains the kind of distortions, misrepresentations and fabrications that Canadians have come to expect from representatives of the Mulroney Government.



Siddon claimed that "the Alberta and federal governments have made a substantial offer to the Lubicon Lake band" which "the United Nations human rights committee has considered to be an appropriate remedy to the situation..." In fact that's not what the committee said or intended.



Siddon claims that "many others have referred to (the so-called "take-it- or-leave-it" offer) as reasonable, fair and generous". What others? Even Alberta Provincial Premier Don Getty publicly described the offer as "deficient in the area of providing economic stability for the future".



Siddon claims that the Lubicon people would have "the largest such settlement in the Province" if we accepted the Federal Government's offer. By what criteria? All other recent settlements in Alberta have been outstanding treaty land entitlements under a treaty to which we aren't a party. Our situation has far more in common with comprehensive settlements outside Alberta.



The proposed Lubicon settlement would provide about 121 acres per person of reserve land. While the Fort Chip agreement provides only 10 to 20 acres per person (depending on whether one counts reserve land sold to the Provincial Government as a part of the settlement agreement) and the Woodland Cree received as little as 65 acres per person (depending on whether all of the people added to the Woodland Cree Band list by the Federal Government are counted). The Whitefish Lake Agreement provides 124 acres of reserve land per person and the Sturgeon Lake Agreement provides 477 to 772 acres per person (depending on whether one counts the 21 Sturgeon Lake people the Province agreed were entitled, the 34 people claimed to be entitled by the Sturgeon Lake Band, or a number between).



The situation is the same regarding the financial components of these agreements. Basic reserve set-up costs in the other Alberta settlements except the Woodland have been financed by the Federal Government over the years out of other funds; in other words settlement monies in these other Alberta settlement agreements are on top of basic reserve set-up costs. No such settlement monies on top of reserve set-up costs are included in the so-called "take-it-or-leave-it" offer to the Lubicons. No financial compensation per se is included in the Woodland agreement or the offer to the Lubicons.



On a per capita basis the Fort Chipewyan Agreement provides financial compensation of $22,166 per person, the Sturgeon Lake Agreement provides $178,030 and $288,238 per person, and the Whitefish Lake Agreement provides $418,425 per person.



Lastly, Siddon claims that "both governments have indicated publicly their willingness to negotiate, but the band has consistently refused to resume negotiations. He says, "Federal negotiator Brian Malone remains anxious to meet Ominayak. The federal government remains committed to resolving this major land claim".



The Lubicon people have never refused to negotiate and were trying to negotiate up to Jan. 24, 1989, when Malone tabled a surprise take-it-or- leave-it offer to the Lubicons which Federal officials knew in advance was unacceptable because it deliberately provided no hope of our ever again becoming socially, politically or economically self-sufficient.



At that time, Malone told us that we had a choice of accepting the offer, or ending the negotiations and going "to the end of the line" (of aboriginal people seeking to negotiate a settlement of their aboriginal land rights with the Canadian Government)".



Chief Bernard Ominayak

Lubicon Lake Indian Nation

Little Buffalo Lake


Attachment #13: THE EDMONTON JOURNAL, Monday, November 11, 1991

EDITORIAL

THE LUBICONS STILL WAITING



It is difficult to summon any faith in Indian Affairs Minister Tom Siddon when he comes to Alberta with a promise to negotiate with the Lubicon Lake Cree on the province's most controversial land claim.



Siddon defines the word "negotiate" in an unusual way. In his dictionary, it means: Dust off a three-year-old offer, throw it back on the table, and say take it or leave it.



Negotiate is a verb, Mr. Siddon, an action word. True negotiations require both sides to move toward a compromise.



Chief Bernard Ominayak is asking for the same amount of land and compensation as his band requested in 1988 -- 246 square kilometres for a reserve and $170 million -- and he's willing to talk.



Siddon appears to be offering less than Ottawa was prepared to give in 1988, and he's stubbornly waiting for capitulation.



The minister told THE JOURNAL's editorial board last week that any final Lubicon settlement would be reduced because of Ottawa's creation of the Woodland Cree, and a potential deal with native people in Loon Lake.



"I have a budgetary ceiling of $45 million, period," Siddon told THE JOURNAL. "We've settled with the Woodland Cree for 40 per cent of that." He said any federal offer to Ominayak in the future will be based on the number of "provable" Lubicon band members. Is this beginning to sound like the Lougheed government in 1984? Will Lubicon history ever stop repeating itself?



Ottawa's unstated intention is to lure the chief's followers to settle their claim in neighboring communities. It is a manipulative tactic, a deceitful one, but it appears to be working as planned.



In November 1988 -- three years ago this week, in fact -- Prime Minister Brian Mulroney met Bernard Ominayak in Edmonton with a promise that his chief of staff, Derek Burney, would lead the final round of negotiations. Ominayak had just signed the Grimshaw Agreement with Premier Don Getty, ending decades of animosity between the province and the band, and there was a very real potential for breakthrough.



Within months, Burney flew off to be Canada's ambassador to Washington, the federal government slapped its "final offer" on the table, and Ottawa's senior bureaucrats suddenly took an interest in the Lubicon band's long- forgotten neighbors in Cadotte Lake and Loon Lake.



"The federal government remains committed to resolving this major land claim," Siddon said in a letter to THE JOURNAL on Nov. 4.



Some commitment. The Lubicon people have heard the same promise for 50 years. For many reasons, both altruistic and economic, Albertans are impatient for real negotiations and a final settlement. Ottawa should make a new and honorable offer -- soon.


Attachment #14: THE EDMONTON JOURNAL, Wednesday, November 20, 1991, Letters to the Editor



OFFER TO LUBICONS HARDLY GENEROUS



Indian Affairs Minister Tom Siddon wrote Nov. 8, 1990 (No end in sight in dispute over land claim -- Siddon, Letters), that the UN human rights committee found the Lubicon case insupportable. There was no truth in that statement.



The UN committee concluded that Lubicon life and culture were threatened, that the band could not achieve legal redress in Canadian courts, and that continued negotiations were an appropriate remedy.



Siddon wrote Nov. 4 just past (Ottawa meeting its claim obligations, Letters) that the UN committee considers the federal govenrment offer an appropriate remedy to the Lubicon situation. There is no truth in that statement.



According to a member of the UN committee, the term "appropriate remedy" means that both sides should continue to negotiate in good faith.

The federal government's strings-attached, non-negotiable, final offer of a few million dollars is hardly generous or fair compensation for $6 billion in stolen resources and a community in ruins.



Why should anyone believe that the federal government really wants to resolve this land claim when its Indian Affairs minister seems committed to dissolving the facts and omitting the figures?



John Hamer

Red Deer


Attachment #15: THE EDMONTON JOURNAL, Wednesday, November 20, 1991, Letters to the Editor





BETRAYAL OF LUBICON BAND



Indian Affairs Minister Tom Siddon's letter (Nov. 4) is compelling evidence of the Alberta and federal governments' betrayal of the Cree nation, and specifically the Crees of the Lubicon band.



Treaty 9 guaranteed their right to hunt, trap and fish as long as the grass grows, the rivers run and the sun shines; it promised to protect the Indians' way of living as hunters and trappers from white competition.

Before the rights, titles and privileges of the individual bands' territories were surrendered to the federal government, the treaty had to be signed by the band chief. The chief of the Lubicon band did not sign.

Siddon does not seem to have the stomach to administer the "coup de grace" to the Lubicons and the people of northern Alberta; the federal government has allowed Alberta to pay Daishowa Canada to do it for him.

The vice-president of Daishowa has been given a free hand to bring Lubicon Chief Bernard Ominayak to the negotiating table so that the chief can have some say in how and who will strike the decisive blow.



Norman W. Eng

Grande Prairie