Lubicon Lake Indian Nation
Little Buffalo Lake, AB
3536 - 106 Street
Edmonton, AB T6J 1A4
January 13, 1992
Attached for your information is a copy of a letter to the Alberta Environmental Alliance and Action Canada Network from Daishowa Doublespeaksman Jim Morrison. The letter pertains to the growing boycott of Daishowa paper products. Doublespeaksman doesn't like it.
Doublespeaksman says "you are claiming that this boycott action is somehow in support of the Lubicon Lake Band". His purpose is of course to imply that something nefarious is going on, like an international conspiracy of tree-hugging environmentalists who are only using the plight of the beleaguered Lubicons to shut-down Daishowa's wondrous bleached kraft pulp mill on the scenic Peace River. On this point Doublespeaksman doesn't really need to play word games in order to raise the spectre of the environmental movement but he probably just doesn't know how to say anything in a straight-forward way. The Lubicons are well aware and appreciative of the support they're receiving from environmentalists around the world, whose concern over the disastrous environmental consequences of the bleached kraft process being used by Daishowa's Peace River mill the Lubicons share.
Doublespeaksman says "The simple facts are that Daishowa Canada is not currently logging in the Lubicon area of concern and has no plans to do so this winter". In fact, as Doublespeaksman knows, the facts aren't nearly so simple.
Last April Daishowa made clear its intention to clear-cut unceded Lubicon territory this fall, contrary to a March 7, 1988 agreement with the Lubicons which Daishowa now claims doesn't exist, and has only temporarily backed off under growing international pressure. The earlier agreement which Daishowa now claims doesn't exist provided that Daishowa would stay out of the unceded Lubicon territory until there's a settlement of Lubicon land rights and a harvesting agreement negotiated with the Lubicon people respecting Lubicon wildlife and environmental concerns.
Daishowa made the March 1988 agreement after receiving assurances from Alberta Premier Don Getty that Lubicon land rights would be settled well before the fall of 1989 when Daishowa was scheduled to start logging the Lubicon area. The agreement between the Lubicons and Daishowa covered the entire 10,000 sq. km. territory still continuously used and occupied by the Lubicon people. During the meeting at which the agreement was made Daishowa officials requested a map showing the 10,000 sq. km. area of concern, which the Lubicons provided on March 14, 1988.
When Lubicon land rights weren't settled by the fall of 1989 Daishowa started exhibiting the endlessly creative imagination regarding the agreement which Doublespeaksman, as Daishowa's paid professional liar, has come to symbolize.
It's in fact the untrustworthy nature of the mentality behind this endlessly creative imagination which makes continued pressure on Daishowa so absolutely essential. Given any choice Daishowa has repeatedly demonstrated that it simply can't be trusted to do the right and honourable thing.
In August of 1990 the Lubicons learned that four Daishowa-related logging companies would be clear-cutting five huge areas in the unceded Lubicon territory in order to provide "Timber...for Mill Facility...based on an agreement with Daishowa". Asked about the 1988 agreement officials of Daishowa claimed the agreement didn't cover Daishowa "contractors" or recently purchased Daishowa subsidiary Brewster Construction.
Charged by the Lubicons with using "contractors" and the recently purchased subsidiary to circumvent the agreement, officials of Daishowa next claimed that Daishowa "contractors" weren't really Daishowa "contractors" at all but were rather "independent" logging companies required by their Provincial Government logging leases to provide Daishowa with wood from the unceded Lubicon territory. Daishowa, they said, is in turn required by its Provincial Government logging leases to purchase this wood from these so-called "independent" logging companies. Officials of Daishowa even claimed that their wholly-owned subsidiary Brewster Construction was "independent" and therefore not covered by the March 1988 agreement.
Publicly ridiculed for trying to argue that companies cutting wood in the unceded Lubicon territory for Daishowa's Peace River Pulp Mill didn't breach the March 1988 agreement, Daishowa started claiming that the agreement only covered "new areas" and that Brewster was proposing to log areas where Brewster had supposedly been working for years. Then they claimed that the terms of the agreement were fully met by the totally unrelated Grimshaw Agreement negotiated between the Lubicons and the Alberta Government in October of 1988. Then they claimed that Daishowa's agreement with the Lubicons only covered the 243 sq. km. proposed reserve area. And only then, after all of their other artful dodges had been thoroughly discredited, did they start denying the existence of any agreement at all.
Doublespeaksman says that "discussions between the principles (sic) to the land claim dispute are scheduled in early 1992 and they will hopefully lead to resumed negotiations". "Under these circumstances", he says, "your boycott initiative is not warranted or helpful".
Aside from the obvious and somehow not very surprising point that Doublespeaksman doesn't know a "principle" from a "principal", the fact of possible negotiations is hardly a reason for calling off the effort to block Daishowa from clear-cutting unceded Lubicon territory. Without that effort Daishowa has made very clear it would proceed to clear-cut unceded Lubicon lands, leaving bloody little left to negotiate and effectively finishing off the Lubicon people.
Having repeatedly demonstrated his total lack of concern for the truth, Doublespeaksman next demonstrates that one thing he doesn't lack is gall. He challenges, of all things, the factual accuracy of boycott materials.
Doublespeaksman says "Daishowa signed a Forest Management Agreement (FMA) with the Alberta Government in 1989, not 1988". So what. The documents signed in 1989 did little more than formalize an agreement publicly announced by both Daishowa and the Alberta Provincial Government in February of 1988.
Doublespeaksman says "The FMA area for the existing pulp mill is about 25,000 sq. km., not 29,000". Again so what. The size of the area announced in February of 1988 was in fact 29,008. By the time the formal agreement was signed in 1989 the numbers had evolved to 25,000 sq. km. for the existing pulp mill, plus an additional 16,000 sq. km. for a planned mill expansion, for a grand total of 41,000 sq. km. The bottom line, and what really matters, is that Daishowa's logging lease covers a huge area which in earlier maps completely blanketed the entire unceded traditional Lubicon territory, and which, on the map attached to Doublespeaksman's current letter, completely blankets the Lubicon territory except for a couple of tiny little pieces on the eastern side of S9 and a fringe area along the top.
Such corrections, if that's what one should call them, are duly noted and over time will be incorporated into Lubicon informational materials. However by no stretch of the imagination could one consider such momentarily accurate fixes on a continually moving target to be in any way comparable to officials of Daishowa deliberately making things up as they go along, denying the existence of agreements, claiming to have nothing to do with the actions of a wholly-owned subsidiary and so on. Moreover in the last analysis such so-called corrections don't make the slightest bit of difference in terms of the essence of the thing; namely, Daishowa's continuing efforts, for financial gain, to play a major role in the genocide of the Lubicon people.
Doublespeaksman says "The only promise Daishowa Canada made was not to log in the reserve area near Lubicon Lake". He very carefully omits any reference to when this supposed promise was made, but presumably it was made during the meeting on March 7, 1988, since that's the only time when there were any such discussions between Daishowa and the Lubicons. Then he says "The reserve area was agreed to between Premier Don Getty and Chief Bernard Ominayak in 1988", again carefully omitting any reference to a date.
The agreement between Premier Getty and Chief Ominayak was in fact made on October 22, 1988. In other words, according to Doublespeaksman's "Alice in Wonderland" pronouncements, Daishowa agreed to stay out of an area which wasn't defined or even discussed until a full seven months later.
Lastly Doublespeaksman says "We believe that the targeting of third parties to obtain public sympathy and support detracts from the real issues". In fact this statement on his part is a deliberate attempt to "detract from the real issue" between Daishowa and the Lubicons. The real issue between Daishowa and the Lubicons is that Daishowa has repeatedly made clear its intention to clear-cut unceded Lubicon lands just as soon as the pressure's off, something which the Lubicons are convinced will cause their final destruction as a people.
January 06, 1992, letter from Daishowa Canada's Jim Morrison to The Alberta Environmental Alliance and the Action Canada Network
This letter is to draw your attention to numerous incorrect statements contained in the "Boycott Daishowa" material that you are currently handing out in the Edmonton area. You are claiming that this boycott action is somehow in support of the Lubicon Lake Band in northern Alberta.
Daishowa Canada feels strongly that we are being erroneously portrayed as "villains" in the Lubicon land claim dispute which we are powerless to resolve. The simple facts are that Daishowa Canada is not currently logging in the Lubicon area of concern, and has no plans to do so this winter. Discussions between the principles to the land claim dispute are scheduled in early 1992 and they will hopefully lead to resume negotiations.
In our opinion, your boycott initiative is not warranted or helpful under these circumstances. However, should you wish to continue your campaign we trust you will at least make the necessary changes to your materials so that you are not distributing false information.
Daishowa signed a Forest Management Agreement (FMA) with the Alberta Government in 1989 (not 1988). The FMA area for the existing pulp mill is about 25,000 square kilometers (not 29,000). As you can see by the attached map, the "traditional Lubicon Lands" or "that part of the traditional Lubicon lands still continuously used and occupied by the Lubicon people" do not lie entirely within Daishowa's FMA territory. The crude map included in your brochure does not correctly illustrate Daishowa's FMA area or other Daishowa harvesting areas.
With respect to the contentious issue of Daishowa Canada allegedly breaking a promise not to log on territory claimed by the Lubicons until their claim has been settled, no such promise was ever made. The only promise Daishowa Canada made was not to log in the Lubicon reserve area near Lubicon Lake. The reserve area was agreed to between Premier Don Getty and Chief Bernard Ominayak in 1988. We always understood that this area would be excluded from our FMA land base.
We believe that the targeting of third parties to obtain public sympathy and support detracts from the real issues. Spreading false and misleading information does little to advance your cause or your credibility, or that of the Lubicon people. A more constructive approach would be to join us in encouraging the parties directly involved to settle their dispute as expeditiously as possible.
Yours truly, James P. Morrison, General Manager, Edmonton Office, Daishowa Canada Co. Ltd.