Lubicon Lake Indian Nation
Little Buffalo Lake, AB
3536 - 106 Street
Edmonton, AB T6J 1A4
January 20, 1994
Attached for your information is a copy of a press statement and related media coverage regarding a resolution on the Lubicon situation recently passed unanimously by the Austrian Parliament. The resolution instructs the Austrian Government to use its diplomatic relations with Canada to urge the Canadian Government to negotiate "a mutually satisfactory settlement" of Lubicon land rights with the Lubicon people including land, resources and financial compensation.
Various forms of the Austrian resolution have been discussed by the Foreign Policy Committee of the Austrian Parliament for some time to the great and growing distress of the Canadian Government which clearly doesn't like international attention to focus on systematic denial of the human and aboriginal rights of Canada's aboriginal people. Much better to focus on and protest abuse of human rights elsewhere.
The Canadian Embassy in Vienna has consequently been conducting a major lobbying effort designed to defeat any resolution supportive of respecting the human rights of the Lubicon people. Unanimous support for the attached resolution provides an indication of how very little credibility the Canadian Government has on the Lubicon issue.
Canadian Government lobbying efforts have included distribution of deliberately deceitful anti-Lubicon propaganda materials in German prepared by both the Alberta Provincial Government and the Canadian Federal Government. The basic content of this Canadian Government propaganda is not new but consists essentially of the continually evolving and endlessly fine-tuned anti-Lubicon propaganda which both levels of Canadian Government have been distributing since immediately before the Calgary Olympics. Some of this stuff is so rank and transparently fallacious that it undoubtedly contributed to the Austrian resolution by making people mad over being treated as though they're so ignorant and gullible.
The Provincial Government propaganda materials are entitled "Forest Management Practices in the Province of Alberta" and claim, among other things, that clear-cut logging is good for the boreal forest because, supposedly, "the original trees in northern forests...need ...sunlight through clearings to regrow successfully". One can only wonder how the northern boreal forest ever managed to regenerate itself prior to the time that the Alberta Provincial Government and these huge Japanese forestry companies came along to cut it all down.
The Federal Government propaganda materials purport to provide "background information on the claim of the Lubicon Lake Band" and claim, among other things:
Thus in the end what's notable about this latest Canadian Government propaganda effort is not so much the deliberately deceitful nature of it, which is by now sadly no longer surprising to anybody who has followed the continuing Lubicon tragedy, but that the new Liberal Chretien Government is still distributing the same long since refuted propaganda materials originally developed by the discredited and soundly rejected Mulroney Government. Somebody should remind the Chretien Liberals what happened to "Lyin' Brian" Mulroney and his disreputable coterie of paid professional propagandists. Perpetuating the Canadian Government's well deserved reputation as a Government which cannot be relied upon to tell the truth serves neither the country nor the Chretien Government well.
Vienna, January 20, 1994
For immediate release:
AUSTRIAN PARLIAMENT PASSES RESOLUTION ON LUBICON ON JANUARY 20, 1994
After a long -- and sometimes controversial -- discussion the Austrian Nationalrat (House of Commons) today unanimously passed the following resolution on the situation of the Lubicon Cree in Alberta:
The Austrian Government is asked -- in considering international customs in dealing with befriended countries-- to use its influence with the Canadian authorities, that negotiations between the Lubicon Cree Indians and the Canadian Federal Government may quickly lead to a mutually satisfactory settlement concerning the land claim, the resources and compensation payment.
(Passed January 20, 1994, about 11:00 A.M.)
The text of the resolution was changed around several times, starting with a draft resolution of the Green Party already in May 1993, leading to an unsatisfactory text, which passed the Foreign Policy Committee of the National Council on Oct. 12, 1993. The Canadian Government tried to intervene via the Canadian Embassy in Austria. But because this intervention was based on a propaganda text of the old Mulroney/Campbell government, the content of which was already well known, it was easy for the Association of Endangered Peoples -- Austria (a human rights organisation for indigenous peoples) -- to refute this propaganda package point by point. Although the resolution which was passed today does not fully reflect all the points the Association would have made, it is much stronger and much more accurate than the draft version which passed the Foreign Policy Council -- despite Canadian intervention.
For more information, the phone numbers of some MPs, which were active in the process:
MP Marijana Grandits, Green Party, ph: +43(1) 40110-6716
MP Klara Motter, Liberal Party, ph: +43(1) 40110-7013
MP Mr. Garlehner, Social Democrats, ph: +43(1) 40110-3718
For general information about the whole process, call:
Peter Schwarzbauer (Association for Endangered Peoples) ph: +43(1) 45-33-51 (private) or +43(1) 47-654-4416 (office)
Transcript of CBC Radio News Broadcast (7:30 A.M.) Friday, January 21, 1994
Phil Henry, CBC News
There's a report the Austrian Parliament has passed a resolution asking the Austrian Government to use its influence with Canadian authorities to help settle the Lubicon land claim. The report comes from a human rights group in Europe called the Association of Endangered Peoples. It says the resolution was passed yesterday. According to the group, the Austrian group wants Ottawa and the Lubicon Cree Indians to settle three issues: the land claim, compensation for the Band and what to do with the resources. The disputed territory east of Peace River is rich in natural resources. Both the Lubicons and the Government claim to own the land. The Lubicon have been trying to sign a treaty with the Government since 1939.
The Edmonton Sun, Friday, January 21, 1994
LUBICONS GET AN ALLY
Alberta's Lubicon Cree have an ally in Austria.
The Austrian Parliament yesterday passed a resolution requesting that the Austrian government use its influence with Canadian authorities to help find a solution to the Lubicon land claim dispute with the Canadian government.
The 500-member Indian band, led by Chief Bernard Ominayak, has been seeking a settlement of its land claim for about 50 years. Negotiations have been at a standstill for more than a year.
The Lubicon settlement is 345 km northwest of Edmonton.