Letters to Canadian Politicians re 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

May 7, 1994

Enclosed for your information are selected letters sent to Canadian politicians regarding the continuing Lubicon tragedy.

Attachment #1: April 14, 1994, letter from Iwerliewen in Luxembourg to Prime Minister Jean Chretien and Indian Affairs Minister Ron Irwin

Dear Prime Minister Chretien,

Dear Minister Irwin,

The Luxembourg based support group for indigenous people "Iwerliewen fir bedreete Volleker" (Society for endangered people) has been following the ongoing tragedy of the Lubicon Indians in Alberta for several years, during which the previous government did not try to implement a fair and equitable solution, but undermined the life basis of the Lubicon Indian Nation and promoted divisions among its members with the purpose of an eventual extinction of this community.

At the beginning of this year, many people in Luxembourg had the opportunity to see for two weeks in the hall of the Luxembourg city theater the exhibition of Gérard Pleynet on the fading world of the Lubicon Cree with striking picture about their land invaded by oil companies and about the people, threatened by social disintegration.

Before the federal elections in October 1993, you made the pledge to consider seriously the recommendations of the independent Lubicon Settlement Commission for a solution to the long-standing injustice to the Lubicon people. Now that you are in office, we urge you to take without any delay the necessary steps for the implementation of the key proposals. On the international stage, this abject situation has thrown a bad image on Canada, concerning the respect of human rights and of indigenous people. This concern is shared by many people in Luxembourg, who have expressed their support for the Lubicon Indians in the enclosed petition.

We have just learned that another attempt to dismember the Lubicon society by separate agreements with certain families has succeeded. We hope that by quick action you will be able to turn off the final blow to the Lubicons as a society. The Woodland Band will represent forever the symbol of an artificial and abominate creation as a result of government power abuse.

Yours sincerely,

Nick Clesen, Coordinator of the Lubicon exhibition, member of the Luxembourg Parliament

Andre Rollinger, President, Iwerliewen

Attachment #2: April 29, 1994, letter from Alva Cox, Cos Cob, Connecticut, USA, to Ron Irwin

Dear Minister Irwin:

Your letter of April 20, 1994, in which you indicate that resolution of the long-standing land claim of the Lubicon Lake Nation is one of your top priorities, was most encouraging. It is heartening to know of your confidence "that a solution acceptable to the Lubicon Lake First Nation and the people of Canada can be found."

Since I wrote my letter to the Right Honorable Jean Chretien I have learned of the attempt to create a new band and split one of the Lubicon elders from his roots. Edward Laboucan has been one of the stalwarts in the fight to settle the Lubicon land claim all his life. It would be tragic to deny him his birthright after years of effort. (Some of the pictures I sent to the Honorable Prime Minister were of Edward and his family.) I sincerely hope that you are not a party to this new effort to split the Lubicon community and that you will not approve it.

Please don't let the Lubicon Nation down once more. You are so right: "...it is now time to conclude old business and to move on to other issues of importance". For the Lubicons this means a settlement based on justice, a settlement that will enable them to develop a viable economy and a stable community life once more. Fifty five years is much to long to wait!

Sincerely, Alva Cox, Jr., President, Synesthetics, Inc.

Attachment #3: April 27, 1994, letter from Survival International, London, England, to Prime Minister Chretien

Dear Prime Minister:

Survival International views with grave concern the continuing delay on the part of the federal government in enacting a fair and just settlement of the continuing Lubicon tragedy.

It is now six months since your government took office, yet there has been little meaningful action since then. This is particularly disappointing as before the elections your party promised to bring this 50-year old saga of broken promises and betrayed trust to an equitable close. Likewise, in his meeting at Little Buffalo on February 18th, at which a Survival International representative was present, Ron Irwin seemed to display a similar intention.

We urge you once again to bring this sad and shabby affair to a swift and fair close by entering into negotiations immediately with the Lubicon people based on their settlement proposals.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen Corry, Director General, Survival International