EcoMedia Toronto Bulletin: Boycott Pizza Pizza

Lubicon Lake Indian Nation
Little Buffalo Lake, AB
FAX: 403-629-3939

Mailing address:
3536 - 106 Street
Edmonton, AB T6J 1A4
FAX: 403-437-0719

January 30, 1992

Enclosed for your information is a commentary on the continuing Lubicon boycott of Daishowa paper products.

ECOMEDIA TORONTO BULLETIN #110, December 20, 1991 to January 2, 1992



A two-week old boycott of Daishowa paper products has ruffled quite a few feathers in both corporate and government circles. The boycott, announced on November 28 by the Toronto-based Friends of the Lubicon, was called to draw economic pressure on Daishowa Canada Co. Ltd. to stop their planned clearcutting of unceded aboriginal land in northern Alberta.

Daishowa holds leases to clearcut the entire traditional territory of the Lubicon Lake Indian Nation. The Lubicons have been fighting for over 50 years for recognition of their aboriginal land rights. Having withstood the devastating effects of a decade of unbridled oil and gas development on their lands, massive government deceit and propaganda campaigns, and underhanded attempts to split their ranks, the Lubicons have stood fast against the current threat of clearcut logging. While the threat of the boycott was enough to force Daishowa to cancel their plans for logging this winter, the Friends of the Lubicon have demanded that daishowa make a clear, public and unequivocal commitment not to cut or to buy wood cut on unceded Lubicon territories until a land rights settlement has been reached with both levels of government and negotiation of a harvesting agreement with the Lubicon people.

To date, four companies have cancelled contracts for purchasing Daishowa paper bags. These are Cultures, Knechtel's Grocers, Ho-Lee-Chow, and the Body Shop. Of the first group of companies the Friends of the Lubicon asked to cancel contracts, only Pizza Pizza has remained obstinate in its refusal to stop using Daishowa paper bags. Lubicon supporters have picketed Pizza Pizza locations in several southern Ontario cities.

People who see the clearcutting of aboriginal lands as a crime are encouraged to boycott all Pizza Pizza outlets until further notice. More companies who use Daishowa bags will be added to the boycott as time goes by.

The boycott campaign has not gone unnoticed by government representatives. Tom Siddon, Minister of Indian Affairs, has called for meetings with the Lubicon people, the Alberta government and himself for early February. These will be the first meetings between the parties since the federal sabotage of negotiations three years ago. Through recent statements and actions on the government's part it is clear that the Daishowa campaign has them worried and further actions and propaganda on their part will be necessary to finish the Lubicons off. On the Lubicons side, the Daishowa campaign has roused support across the country including endorsement from the 50,000 member National Association of Japanese Canadians and the Action Canada Network.

Daishowa Vice President Tom Hamaoka, meanwhile, is claiming that they are an innocent party caught in a dispute between the Lubicons and the government. However they negotiated their leases knowing full well the land was under claim and their plans to clearcut are a direct and dangerous threat to the Lubicon people. That's far from innocent in our books. While Daishowa and Pizza Pizza remain unwilling to make the clear ethical decision not to log on contested land, there is no doubt that they can be forced through economic pressure to back down. They have already admitted publicly that the boycott is hurting them economically. The only thing to do now is tighten the screws.