Jean Chretien-Letter to Toronto Friends of the Lubicon

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

June 02, 1993

Enclosed for your information is a copy of a letter to the Toronto Friends of the Lubicon supporting the recommendations of the Lubicon Settlement Commission. The letter is from Jean Chretien. Mr. Chretien is Leader of the Official Opposition in the Parliament of Canada, and he is also Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.

May 27, 1993, letter from Jean Chretien to Friends of the Lubicon Toronto

Dear Group Members:

Thank you for your letter regarding the final report of the Lubicon Settlement Commission of Review.

The Liberal Party understands your concern. For more than fifty years, the Lubicon have struggled to secure a permanent land base -- and the means to preserve their way of life. Unfortunately, negotiations between the Lubicon and the federal government have been suspended since 1989. We believe that the government has reneged on its fiduciary responsibility to the Lubicon People.

Time is wasting. Innumerable studies and reports have been prepared over past years, and they have only served to slow progress in the negotiations for a land and resource base. It is time for action. As a start, we believe the government should proceed with recommendation number five of the Settlement Commission report to hold all royalties in trust and withhold leases and permits on traditional Lubicon lands -- unless approved by the Lubicon. Moreover, future negotiations should reflect the intent of recommendation number eight, asserting that the extinguishment of Aboriginal rights must not be a condition for a settlement -- a position consistent with Liberal policy.

Ethel Blondin-Andrew, Liberal Critic for Aboriginal Affairs, has urged the government to renew negotiations with the Lubicon and resolve this issue, once and for all. While it is doubtful whether the current government possesses the will to do so, you can be assured that Liberals will continue to press the Conservatives to respond to the recommendations of the Settlement Commission and resume negotiations.

We support the swift resolution of all claims, and consider the Lubicon claim to be a priority. As Leader of the Opposition, I appreciate the time you have taken to write and bring your views to my attention.

Sincerely, Jean Chretien