Lubicon Lake Indian Nation
Little Buffalo Lake, AB
3536 - 106 Street
Edmonton, AB T6J 1A4
July 19, 1994
Enclosed for your information are copies of correspondence between Lubicon Chief Bernard Ominayak and Canadian Federal Indian Affairs Minister Ron Irwin going back to proposals on how to re-start negotiations which the Chief sent Mr. Irwin last February 28th at Mr. Irwin's request.
The correspondence is self-explanatory and suggests that it would now be appropriate for people to call upon both Mr. Irwin and Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien to bring their performance and the performance of their government into a little closer conformity with their statements and commitments.
Letters can be sent to Mr. Irwin and Mr. Chretien at the following addresses (within Canada letters to both Mr. Irwin and Mr. Chretien are postage-free):
Prime Minister Jean Chretien
80 Wellington St., 2nd Floor
Ottawa, ONT K1A OA6
The Hon. Ron Irwin
Minister, Indian and Northern Affairs
Government of Canada
Ottawa, ONT K1A 0A6
Attachment #1: July 15, 1994, letter from Chief Ominayak to Federal Indian Affairs Minister Ron Irwin
The Lubicon people would be pleased to discuss appointment of a federal negotiator or anything else with you but not on the terms proposed in your 7-11 letter. To proceed on the basis of the terms proposed in your 7-11 letter would be to deny the heritage of our children and grandchildren.
You indicate in your 7-11 letter that "the federal government is prepared to proceed largely on the basis (proposed by the Lubicons)". However you have in fact flatly rejected all Lubicon proposals for re-starting talks -- including both those things which we discussed during our 2-18 meeting in Little Buffalo and those things which we outlined to you in our letter of 2- 28.
First and foremost we have never been prepared to cede our unextinguished aboriginal land rights over our traditional Lubicon territory as a pre- condition of settlement talks. Nor will we ever be prepared to cede our unextinguished aboriginal land rights as a pre-condition of settlement talks. All previous talks have been explicitly and by prior agreement without prejudice to our unceded aboriginal land rights -- although it is true that representatives of the Federal Government have often later deceitfully claimed otherwise. (While we may have little control over the lies which representatives of both levels of Canadian Government frequently tell about the nature of any agreements we make with them we have absolutely no intention of allowing these lies to define our position or to go unchallenged.)
You quote our 2-28 letter as listing "the issues which would need to be addressed such as membership, reserve lands, community facilities, commercial development and others" -- all matters pertaining directly to reserve construction. You note rightly that our "objective would be to negotiate a complete settlement package before signing any agreement" but then begin to cant our position by saying that we "suggested....that agreements-in principle (AIPs) may be possible in some of those areas while work continues in others". By the end of your letter you have distorted beyond recognition our clear and explicit position on these and other matters.
You advise that you and Mr. Rock have "been authorized to jointly appoint a federal negotiator who will have responsibility for achieving AIPs on as many as possible of the issues which arise in the claim of your First Nation under Treaty No. 8 or for program benefits ". You say "To the extent possible, each of the issues which arise in negotiations will be directed to the appropriate processes and officials within the federal government, but under the overall supervision of the federal negotiator, for consideration within existing authorities and associated funding ". As an example of "existing authorities and associated funding" you say "determination of land quantum and economic benefits owing under Treaty No. 8 can be addressed in light of the Specific Claims Policy authority of the government... (involving) ...the province in the usual way" (underlining added.)
That may be your counter-proposal to us as how to proceed with negotiations but it sure as hell has nothing to do with the proposals we made to you. We have never been prepared to negotiate a settlement of our unextinguished aboriginal land rights under the terms of a Treaty negotiated by others nearly 100 years ago to which we were not a party and which is known not to even accurately reflect what was agreed by the Aboriginal Nations who did sign it. We have never agreed to negotiate a settlement of our unextinguished aboriginal land rights under the long since discredited "Specific Claims Policy authority of the government" which even the Chretien Government has publicly criticized as "unworkable", "out of step with the legal and political evolution of Aboriginal and treaty rights", offensive to Aboriginal people and in need of a "major overhaul". And we certainly did not propose to negotiate AIPs with "appropriate (program) officials... for consideration within existing authorities and associated funding (which we in fact did as a pre-agreed first step with representatives of the Mulroney Government nearly six years ago and see no good reason to repeat since everybody involved knows very well the details and cost of Lubicon settlement requirements and what can be covered out of existing government programs and services).
Specifically what we proposed in our 2-28 letter is as follows:
"It is our intention to negotiate a complete package before signing any agreement. If some items (such as financial compensation) take longer to finalize it is our intention to achieve written agreement-in-principle with related work-program and time-table prior to signing any interim agreement (such as agreement on an independent, binding three person tribunal). In any event it is our intention to achieve agreement on reserve construction complete including commercial and agricultural development prior to signing any interim agreement (underlining added).
"On timing we believe that it's possible, desirable and in fact essential to achieve agreement-in-principle (with regard to an over-all master agreement) in a matter of days and agreement-in-fact in a matter of weeks. The necessary technical work has long since been completed and repeatedly reviewed in detail by all of the involved parties. All that remains is up-dating the involved numbers, re-drawing the boundaries for the wildlife management and environmental protection agreement with the province, preparing the time-table and work-program for any items which might require extended discussion of implementation (such as perhaps related enabling legislation) and establishment of an independent tribunal in the event that there are items which cannot be resolved through negotiations " (underlining added).
On how to deal with issues which cannot be satisfactorily resolved through negotiation -- presumably again in context the related questions of continuing aboriginal land rights and compensation -- we proposed the independent, binding three person tribunal originally suggested by then Conservative Alberta Premier Don Getty and supported as a fair and equitable way to deal with such things by ex-Federal Justice Minister and B.C. Supreme Court Judge E. Davie Fulton, the broad-based Lubicon Settlement Commission, organized Labour in Canada, the Churches in Canada and people across the country and around the world. (In this regard it is well notable that Premier Getty originally proposed this independent three person tribunal in order to try and bridge an earlier impasse created precisely because Canadian Government had proven unwilling and the Canadian Courts had proven incapable of effectively redressing the question of continuing Lubicon aboriginal land rights -- a conclusion shared among others by the UN Human Rights Committee after a three year inquiry into this very problem.)
Instead of an independent, binding three person tribunal to fairly and equitably resolve matters which cannot be resolved through negotiations you propose to have the federal negotiator "appoint a mediator to assist in the settlement process" -- which is exactly the same proposal made by ex- Mulroney Indian Affairs Minister Bill McKnight and Mulroney-appointed federal negotiator Brian Malone in the fall of 1987 when Mr. McKnight was also under considerable political pressure to agree to some form of independent dispute resolution after the all-party Parliamentary Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs unanimously supported a Lubicon proposal to re-involve E. Davie Fulton as an independent mediator responsible to the Standing Committee instead of to the Government per se. You indicate that "Canada is not prepared at this time to make a decision on the use of binding arbitration before we have even begun negotiations" -- which is the same kind of catch 22 proposition which we've been hearing for years from people like Messrs. McKnight and Federal Justice Department lawyer Ivan Whitehall in response to calls for some kind of independent dispute resolution mechanism necessitated by near across-the-boards failure to satisfactorily resolve questions pertaining to Aboriginal rights through simple negotiations between Aboriginal people and an institutionally all- powerful Federal Government. You indicate that "the federal government will want to receive the negotiator's recommendations on any outstanding issues before considering whether it is appropriate to use special dispute resolution measures of a binding nature" -- which is tantamount to one side in a two party dispute unilaterally deciding whether and how to handle matters in dispute. And you make clear your "serious concerns about the prospect of resolving questions about continuing Aboriginal rights or any compensation based upon that matter through negotiations" indicating that "these are fundamental legal issues that remain in dispute which are...likely only to be resolved in the (Canadian) courts" -- which is of course only yet another rendition of the familiar Mulroney Government refrain "go to (the Canadian Courts where legal gangsters like Whitehall will predictably employ procedural means to ensure that you will never be able to achieve a fair hearing) if you think you have any compensation coming" for the systematic destruction of your traditional society and the outright theft of your traditional lands and resources. (The shameful history of official Canadian Government abuse of the lawful rights of Aboriginal people is in fact the reason for the UN Human Rights Committee decision that the Lubicon people cannot achieve effective legal or political redress within Canada -- and it is also the reason why the independent, binding three person tribunal is needed, proposed and so widely supported.)
Lastly you should know that the Grimshaw (reserve land) Accord was not tied to membership numbers as is now being deceitfully claimed in various forums by representatives of the Alberta Provincial Government and echoed abroad by representatives of the Chretien Federal Government -- something which we will shortly be addressing in other forums ourselves. The Grimshaw (reserve land) Accord was proposed by then Alberta Premier Don Getty specifically to get around the long-standing disagreement between the Lubicons and the Alberta Government over membership numbers -- or at least over the number of Lubicons with continuing aboriginal land rights.
Premier Getty proposed that he and I instead agree on an amount of reserve land which as honourable men we could both agree was "fair" -- this was in fact the basis of the Grimshaw (reserve land) Accord. Contrary to the deliberately deceitful claims now being made by current Alberta Government representatives who clearly don't share Premier Getty's commitment to personal honour our agreement with Premier Getty about releases pertained only to fully absolving the Provincial Government of its constitutional responsibility for transferring land back to Federal jurisdiction for purposes of establishing a Lubicon reserve -- not to determining the size of that reserve.
Subsequent to the Grimshaw Accord of course both levels of Canadian Government participated in a coordinated and well documented effort to dismantle the Lubicon society by creating two new Bands -- one on either side of the traditional Lubicon community of Little Buffalo Lake -- and then seeking to bribe and/or variously entice members of the Lubicon society to join one or other of these two new Bands. While this despicable, racist and overtly colonialistic effort on the part of both levels of Canadian Government to dismantle the Lubicon society in order to deny us our lawful rights was ultimately unsuccessful it did again further complicate the already complicated Lubicon membership situation.
Given this history, the need to fix membership numbers for the purpose of making certain settlement calculations in areas like housing, the fact that settlement itself will clearly still further impact those membership numbers and the well established legal principle that such disreputable activity as creation of the Woodland Cree Band to try and deny the Lubicon people our lawful rights should not be rewarded, we propose to fix membership for the purpose of settlement negotiations at the last time that there was agreement all around on membership numbers; namely, at the time of the Grimshaw Accord. We further propose to then make any necessary adjustments in membership-related settlement items like housing in relation to actual membership numbers determined in process over time. (The inclusion of a mechanism to take into account the impact of any membership fluctuations on related capital construction items during the reserve construction period has been part of the discussions since negotiations in December of 1988 and should be included in a final settlement agreement in any case.)
Like you the Lubicon people are very anxious to have mutually satisfactory negotiation of our unceded Aboriginal land rights commence as soon as possible. We too have a strong desire to establish a new and positive relationship between your people and our people. However neither of these objectives are conceivable based on the terms outlined in your 7-11 letter. If your 7-11 letter doesn't accurately reflect the position of your Government on the issues we are prepared to talk further. However I repeat we are not prepared to discuss appointment of a Federal negotiator or anything else on the terms proposed in your 7-11 letter.
Chief Bernard Ominayak
Lubicon Lake Indian Nation
cc: Jean Chretien
Attachment #2: July 11, 1994, letter from Federal Indian Affairs Minister Ron Irwin to Chief Ominayak
Dear Chief Ominayak:
Further to your letter of May 21, 1994 and my letter to you of May 16, 1994 I am now in a position to respond to your proposal on how to return to negotiations on your First Nation's claim.
In your letter of February 28, 1994 you had proposed that Canada appoint a negotiator who will report directly to me, and who will have the authority and competence to effectively handle a number of procedural and substantive matters. You then listed the issues which would need to be addressed, such as membership, reserve lands, community facilities, commercial development, and others. While your objective would be to negotiate a complete settlement package before signing any agreement, you suggested in your letter that agreements-in-principle (AIPs) may be possible in some of those areas while work continues in others.
I am pleased to advise you that the federal government is prepared to proceed largely on the basis you have proposed. Rather than continue on the basis of previous offers, we agree that a fresh start is needed.
I and the Minister of Justice, the Honourable Allan Rock, have therefore been authorized to jointly appoint a federal negotiator who will have responsibility for achieving AIPs on as many as possible of the issues which arise in the claim of your First Nation under Treaty No. 8 or for program benefits. Both Mr. Rock and I have decided that the federal negotiator should be a person from outside the Government of Canada.
Where AIPs cannot be achieved, the federal negotiator will attempt to scope out options for subsequent consideration by the government. Where difficulties arise, the negotiator will have the authority, subject to the agreement of your First Nation and (where involved) the Province of Alberta, and with the agreement of Mr. Rock and myself, to appoint a mediator to assist the settlement process.
To the extent possible, each of the issues which arise in negotiations will be directed to the appropriate processes and officials within the federal government, but under the overall supervision of the federal negotiator, for consideration within existing authorities and associated funding. For example, the determination of land quantum and economic benefits owing under Treaty No. 8 can be addressed in light of the Specific Claims Policy authority of the government. Settlement of those two issues would, of course, involve the province in the usual way.
The federal negotiator will oversee the negotiation process with regard to federal participation in all aspects of the claim. The federal negotiator would also have full authority to work with the province on all issues which involve the provincial government, and to represent Canada on the claim with any other party.
While the negotiator will be authorized to have issues go to mediation, Canada is not prepared at this time to make a decision on the use of binding arbitration before we have even begun negotiations, let alone attempt mediation if necessary. The federal government will want to receive the negotiator's recommendations on any outstanding issues before considering whether it is appropriate to use special dispute resolution measures of a binding nature.
From my review of the history of this claim, I have serious concerns about the prospect of resolving questions about continuing Aboriginal rights or any compensation based upon that matter through negotiations. These are fundamental legal issues that remain in dispute which in our view are likely only to be resolved in the courts.
I would ask for your response to this letter at your earliest convenience. Like you, I am very anxious to have negotiations on this claim commence as soon as possible. My colleagues in Cabinet and caucus share my strong desire to establish a new and positive relationship with your First Nation and to embark upon negotiations with a completely fresh start in an environment conducive to a mutually successful outcome. As a first step I would ask that you contact Mr. Brad Morse, of my office, to discuss the kind of person whom you feel could be an effective representative of the Government of Canada in these negotiations.
Yours truly, Ronald A. Irwin, P.C., M.P.
cc: Honourable Allan Rock
Attachment #3: May 21, 1994, letter from Chief Ominayak to Ron Irwin
Dear Mr. Minister:
Thank you for your May 16th letter acknowledging receipt of our February 28th written proposals on how to resume negotiation of Lubicon land rights. As you know our people face terrible problems as a result of deliberate government-directed destruction of our traditional economy and way of life and we were concerned that you'd forgotten your promise to respond to our proposals for re-starting negotiations within a few days of receiving them.
Hopefully the next stage of the process you describe in your May 16th letter will take a little less time than it took for you to acknowledge receipt of our written proposals for re-starting negotiations. The Lubicon people cannot forever survive the continuing genocide being systematically directed against us and the Chretien Government will not likely last forever either - - especially if it fails to heed Mr. Chretien's wise words to the recent Liberal Party Convention about "what happens when a government loses touch and forgets its commitments to Canadians".
In this regard I call your attention to Prime Minister Chretien's pre- election commitment to a "swift resolution of all claims... (with)...the Lubicon claim as a priority". I also call your attention to point five of resolution 37 passed at the recent Liberal Party Convention which reads:
"BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Liberal Party of Canada urges the Government of Canada to resolve the Lubicon Cree Land and Compensation Claim as a top priority within a mutually acceptable time-frame or, if necessary, by the independent claims commission referred to in the 1992 Priority Resolution on Treaties and Claims and the 1993 Aboriginal Platform (from the Red Book on which Liberal Party candidates ran and won the last Federal election)."
We are of course well aware of the continuing conspiracy by Messrs. Goodleaf, Van Loon, Sinclair, Westland, Whitehall and Malone to undercut both you and us. Frankly we see no reason why you should cede your rightful authority as Minister of Indian Affairs essentially to this same bunch only re-positioned from their previous base in the Department of Indian Affairs to a new base at Justice (where Whitehall and Co. will undoubtedly seek to deceive and manipulate Mr. Rock as they have sought to deceive and manipulate successive Indian Affairs Ministers going back to at least John Munro).
Certainly the argument that Justice has to play a key role "because the Lubicon case is before the courts" is bogus. Nothing pertaining to the Lubicon land question has been actively before the courts since at least 1988. Even when the case was actively before the courts the Indian Affairs Minister of the day always played the leading role with regard to negotiation of our land rights -- albeit typically labouring under the constant burden of Whitehall and Co. manoeuvring to block any positive Ministerial efforts to achieve settlement.
Perhaps you still don't know that your officials started conspiring with Whitehall and Malone to create a new base over at Justice shortly after you made them aware that you would not tolerate their continuing efforts to tear our society asunder. In fact as long ago as last December 16th Whitehall, Malone and Sinclair met with Van Loon's knowledge and agreed to "confirm (Malone's) continuing engagement as agent of the Attorney General for Canada (regarding the Lubicon Lake Land Claim and Litigation)...(specifically)...to assist in the preparation of a memorandum to Cabinet".
December 16th is of course exactly the same time frame as TransCanada VP Bob Young was in Ottawa meeting with Mr. Goodleaf about the latest effort to tear our society asunder -- the so-called Laboucan family initiative. In addition the "memorandum to Cabinet" discussed by Whitehall, Malone and Sinclair with Van Loon's knowledge last December 16th sounds very much like the "cab doc" which you only recently learned is going to be drafted by Justice, or, as we understand even more recently will now supposedly be drafted jointly by Justice and DIAND. (I say supposedly out of respect for the impressive record of Whitehall and Co. in having their way with successive Indian Affairs Ministers going back to at least John Munro.)
Lastly we would like to raise with you our very real concerns over the content of the "cab doc" which presumably will provide the basis for Cabinet discussion about how to proceed with Lubicon negotiations. If that "cab doc" presents the same demonstrably incorrect information about recent settlements which Goodleaf, Van Loon and Westland provided to you during your meeting with them in early April then the decision of Cabinet will effectively be foreordained and the resulting Cabinet mandate will make settlement of Lubicon land rights even more difficult if not impossible to achieve.
On April 23rd Fred Lennarson sent Brad Morse materials analyzing the false claims by your officials that Lubicon demands exceed other recent settlements. Hopefully Mr. Morse received those materials from Mr. Lennarson. We have no way of knowing whether Mr. Morse received those materials since he doesn't return our phone calls and doesn't acknowledge our correspondence any faster than you do. If Mr. Morse didn't receive the materials analyzing the false claims by your senior officials that Lubicon demands exceed the terms of recent settlements let us know and we can send you another copy.
Chief Bernard Ominayak
Lubicon Lake Indian Nation
cc: The Hon. J. Chretien
Attachment #4: May 16, 1994, letter from Ron Irwin to Chief Ominayak
Dear Chief Ominayak:
This is in reply to your letter of February 28, 1994 outlining your proposal on how to resume negotiations of the Lubicon Lake land claim. I greatly appreciated the opportunity to have an extensive meeting with you in Little Buffalo on February 18, 1994 as well as to meet with many of your supporters.
The material you provided to me, both at the meeting and in your letter, will be of assistance when my colleague, the Honourable Allan Rock, and I discuss in the near future with the Cabinet possible options on how to proceed. Like you, I hope that this matter can be finalized in a relatively short period of time given that most of the technical work with respect to your claim has been completed.
As soon as I have had an opportunity to pursue this matter with my colleagues, I would like to visit your community again to discuss with you Canada's position with respect to the claim and the government's proposals for a settlement.
Ronald A. Irwin, P.C., M.P.
Attachment #5: February 28, 1994, letter from Chief Ominayak to Ron Irwin
Dear Mr. Irwin:
Any impartial review of the history of Lubicon land negotiations cannot but conclude that there's no settlement of Lubicon land rights primarily because of bad faith on the part of one or both levels of Canadian Government. In most instances it's clear that one or both levels of Canadian Government had no intention of reaching a fair settlement of Lubicon land rights but only used the pretence of sincere negotiations to deflect public criticism, publicly confuse the issues and buy time while continuing to pursue various strategies intended to subvert, discredit and basically outlast the Lubicon people. Even in those few cases where there was apparent good faith on the part of some government people -- Bob Connelly working for John Munro, for example, or E. Davie Fulton working for David Crombie or Alberta Premier Don Getty -- other people in one or both levels of Government soon undercut and re-directed these apparent good faith efforts in favour of continuing the on-going campaign to destroy the Lubicon society.
That neither level of Canadian Government has in the end negotiated in good faith is not only the conclusion of the Lubicon people. Bob Connelly knows that his good faith efforts to negotiate a settlement of Lubicon land rights were undermined by Justice Department lawyer Ivan Whitehall. David Crombie knows that his good-faith efforts to negotiate a settlement of Lubicon land rights were undermined by his DM Bruce Rawson. Ex-Premier Don Getty knows that his good faith efforts to negotiate a settlement of Lubicon land rights were undermined by the Provincial negotiating team including in particular Ken Boutillier. The members of the Lubicon Settlement Commission know that neither level of Canadian Government has in the end negotiated in good faith with the Lubicon people. And people across the country and around the world know it.
As we advised you during our meeting on February 18th there is currently yet another major campaign underway intended to tear the Lubicon society to pieces. It involves senior officials from both levels of Canadian Government including senior officials in your Ministry like Fred Jobin as well as others who were originally involved in the Lubicon situation by the Federal Government like Bob Young. We have no reason to believe that you are personally involved in this current effort to tear our society apart. Nor do we have concrete information that Provincial Native Affairs Minister Mike Cardinal or Alberta Premier Ralph Klein are involved. But it is clear that senior officials reporting to both you and to Mr. Cardinal are involved as well as people who were originally involved by the Federal Government like Bob Young.
In the past these same government officials and agents have used the information which we provided as part of supposedly good faith talks to try and subvert both our land rights and our society. Ivan Whitehall, for example, secretly slipped Provincial lawyer Howard Irving a copy of a confidential genealogy study prepared jointly by the Lubicons and Federal officials contrary to an explicit agreement between Federal officials and the Lubicon people that this study was not to be shared with the Province without Lubicon concurrence. Provincial officials then used this confidential genealogy information to try and develop political arguments and rationales as to why our people supposedly no longer retain aboriginal land rights over our unceded traditional territory.
Later Federal officials and agents like Fred Jobin and Brian Malone used confidential Lubicon membership information provided as part of supposedly good faith negotiations to try and organize the political overthrow of duly elected Lubicon leadership. When the effort to organize the political overthrow of duly elected Lubicon leadership failed these Federal officials and agents used this same confidential Lubicon membership information to recruit members for a whole new Band called the Woodland Cree Band. Agents and officials of the Federal Government including Brian Malone, Bob Young and Fred Jobin then put together a settlement on behalf of this new Band supposedly extinguishing our aboriginal land rights to our unceded traditional territory.
Still later Federal and Provincial officials and agents used up-dated Lubicon membership information provided to the Provincial negotiating team as part of supposedly good faith negotiations to determine that Lubicon membership numbers were remaining basically stable in spite of continuing Government efforts to "bribe" Lubicon members into joining the Woodland Band due at least partially to new adherents meeting Lubicon membership criteria from the Loon Lake area. Shortly thereafter agents of both levels of Canadian Government including Neil Reddekopp and Ward Mallabone showed-up in the Loon Lake area and started organizing the new Loon River Band using this same up-dated Lubicon membership information. There can be no doubt about the purpose of creating these two new Bands. To quote Ward Mallabone -- one of the Calgary lawyers involved by the Federal Government to create these two new Bands -- the purpose of creating the two new Bands is to "eliminate" the Lubicon society.
Given this well documented history and the very real possibility that Federal and Provincial officials are trying to subvert both you and us as well as possibly Mr. Cardinal the Lubicon people consider it essential that the person you ask to play the lead role on the Federal side in Lubicon land negotiations:
Assuming the appointment of such a person with such a mandate we can commence bi-lateral talks about both substantial and procedural matters including membership, reserve lands, community facilities, residential housing, commercial development, agricultural development, self-government, financial compensation, binding arbitration, wildlife management in the traditional Lubicon territory, environmental protection in the traditional Lubicon territory and selective involvement of the Province and private sector in discussion of specific items.
Membership and the Grimshaw Agreement on reserve land are clearly the main targets of this latest assault on our society by senior Federal and Provincial officials. We will need to discuss resolution of these matters with Federal representatives not involved in any way in the continuing effort to deprive us of our rights and destroy our society .
With regard to the cost of community facilities and residential housing we propose that both parties be bound by the conclusions of the mutually agreed independent cost assessor up-dated by the same tables, formulas and calculations employed earlier.
With regard to commercial and agricultural development we propose the funding approach devised by RO officials Ralph Bouvette and Martyn Glassman.
With regard to self-government Fred Lennarson included a copy of Lubicon self-government proposals in the materials he delivered to Brad Morse at the Edmonton Inn the evening of February 18th.
With regard to financial compensation Fred Lennarson included a copy of my 4-27-93 letter to Mr. Cardinal recording the latest Provincial offer of $60 million over a ten year period in the materials he delivered to Brad Morse at the Edmonton Inn the evening of February 18th. We propose that the Federal Government match this Provincial offer or alternatively that we refer the question of financial compensation to the independent three person tribunal earlier proposed by Premier Getty.
With regard to binding arbitration we propose to refer those items which cannot be settled through negotiations to the independent three person tribunal proposed by Premier Getty. This tribunal would consist of one person appointed by the Lubicons, one person appointed by the Federal Government and a third person appointed by the first two. The decisions of this tribunal would be binding upon both the Government and the Lubicons and would not be appealable to the Canadian courts.
Wildlife management and environmental protection in the traditional Lubicon territory was successfully negotiated with the Provincial Government earlier but will have to be re-negotiated with the Province in light of creation of the new Woodland and Loon River Bands. Presumably the principles negotiated earlier will hold but the involved boundaries will have to re-drawn.
As a working agenda we would propose to start with page one of the Lubicon draft settlement proposals document which Fred Lennarson delivered to Brad Morse at the Edmonton Inn the evening of February 18th, to proceed through that document page by page identifying items where we agree and disagree, items where the Province or private sector might or should be involved, items which we might want to refer to binding arbitration, items which can be proceeded with immediately and items which might take longer to finalize.
It is our intention to negotiate a complete package before signing any agreement. If some items take longer to finalize it is our intention to achieve written agreement-in-principle with related work-program and time- table prior to signing any interim agreement. In any event it is our intention to achieve agreement on reserve construction complete including commercial and agricultural development prior to signing any interim agreement.
On timing we believe that it's possible, desirable and in fact essential to achieve agreement-in-principle in a matter of days and agreement-in-fact in a matter of weeks. The necessary technical work has long since been completed and repeatedly reviewed in detail by all of the involved parties. All that remains is up-dating the involved numbers, re-drawing the boundaries for the wildlife management and environmental protection agreement with the Province, preparing the time-table and work-program for any items which might require extended discussion of implementation (such as perhaps related enabling legislation) and establishment of an independent tribunal in the event that there are items which cannot be resolved through negotiations. A longer time-frame will bode ill for accomplishment of a settlement and will be acceptable only if good progress is being made and we're not experiencing slippage on things already agreed.
I would be pleased to answer any questions you might have about these proposals or to provide any further detail you might require.
Chief Bernard Ominayak
Lubicon Lake Indian Nation