Lubicon Lake Indian Nation
Little Buffalo Lake, Alberta
3536 - 106 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T6J 1A4
August 16, 1994
Enclosed for your information is an English language translation of a report sent to the Austrian Foreign Affairs Ministry by the Austrian Ambassador to Canada. Also enclosed for your information is a copy of the Austrian Ambassador's report to the Austrian Foreign Affairs Ministry in the original German as well as a couple of English language documents provided to the Austrian Ambassador by senior officials of the Alberta Provincial government.
The enclosed report by the Austrian Ambassador to Canada pertains to a "briefing" on the Lubicon situation which the Austrian Ambassador to Canada received recently from senior Alberta government officials Gary Pocock, Ken Boutillier and John Kristensen. Pocock is Assistant Deputy Minister of Planning and Coordination for the Provincial Department of Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs (FIGA) and reports to Alberta Premier Ralph Klein. Boutillier is Executive Director of Indian Land Claims for the Provincial Department of Family and Social Planning and technically reports to Family and Social Services Minister Mike Cardinal (although Boutillier was around long before Cardinal arrived on the scene and there's a real question about who controls whom). Kristensen is Director of the Federal/Provincial Relations Division of the Provincial Department of Family and Social Services and technically also reports to Mike Cardinal (although Kristensen also pre-dates Cardinal and there's a question about who controls whom in his case as well).
The information provided to the Austrian Ambassador by Pocock, Boutillier and Kristensen is predictably replete with self-serving distortions, misrepresentations, fabrications and outright lies. More surprising than the lies is the fact that the senior Provincial officials telling the lies are identified by name in the report of the Austrian Ambassador. Usually senior Alberta Provincial officials are more careful about having their names associated with the overt lies they tell.
Senior Provincial Government strategist Boutillier in particular is usually more careful about having his name associated with bald-faced lies. Normally Boutillier seeks to fashion deliberately calculated false impressions rather than lying outright complete with quotable quotes. (Presumably this time the Boutillier bunch didn't expect the lies they told the Austrian Ambassador to be recorded and a copy made available to the Lubicons by concerned members of the Austrian National Council.) Distressed by a general resolution passed unanimously earlier this year by the Austrian National Council urging the Canadian Government to negotiate a "mutually satisfactory" settlement of Lubicon land rights, Boutillier and his colleagues dramatically told the Austrian Ambassador that "the (Austrian) resolution... could have easily led to a disturbance of bilateral relationships (between Canada and Austria)". They went on to charge that the Austrian resolution "was not based on facts...and was passed without consulting the Canadian Government".
Pretty serious sounding stuff but demonstrably untrue -- as is so often the case with things claimed by the Boutillier bunch. There was in fact a major Canadian Government lobbying effort conducted out of the Canadian Embassy in Vienna designed to defeat ANY resolution by the Austrian National Council supporting respect for the aboriginal land rights of the Lubicon people -- a lobbying effort which included deliberately deceitful anti-Lubicon propaganda materials in German prepared by the same senior Provincial officials now claiming falsely that the Canadian Government wasn't consulted. The Canadian government propaganda materials used in this lobbying effort, including that concocted by these same senior Provincial officials, was in fact considered at length by members of the Austrian National Council and resulted in a number of revisions to the text of the resolution but did not convince the Austrian Parliamentarians to kill the resolution altogether -- killing the resolution altogether of course being the fervently, feverishly sought objective of both levels of Canadian Government.
Countered in their indignant harangue about the Austrian resolution by an Austrian Ambassador who knew better and told them so, the senior Provincial officials then proceeded to provide the Austrian Ambassador with the type of carefully crafted disinformation so characteristic of Boutillier; namely, cleverly misrepresented "facts" which don't attack the Lubicons head-on but which are instead intended to create false impressions leading to the erroneous conclusion that the Lubicon people are completely unreasonable and therefore -- as ludicrous as it would seem if one were to say it outright -- that it's the rich and powerful Alberta Provincial government which is long-suffering rather than the embattled and endangered Lubicons.
Boutillier and Co. told the Austrian Ambassador that "there are 44 bands of native peoples in Alberta" and that "ten bands recently finished their land claim negotiations with the government". Actually there are at least 47 recognized Bands in Alberta and there've been seven settlements -- five of which were relatively minor outstanding treaty land entitlement settlements involving Bands that signed treaty at the turn of the century and already have established reserves but where a small number of people had not been taken into account for purposes of calculating reserve land size -- the other two of which were settlements purely on government-dictated terms which were hurriedly pushed through by both levels of Canadian government at key points in the Lubicon struggle in order to try and counter negative publicity generated by such things as the Lubicon boycott of the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics.
Illustrating classic Boutillier disinformation technique Boutillier and Co. slightly shrink the number of Bands in Alberta and slightly exaggerate the number of settlements so as to contribute to the false impression they are seeking to create that the vast majority of Indian societies in Alberta are negotiating "mutually satisfactory" settlements with the government. Fooling around with the truth in this way is characteristic of Boutillier -- shading things just enough to create self-serving impressions but not so much as to precipitate a big debate over the accuracy of the numbers or to seriously jeopardize the credibility of the source of those numbers. (In fact the Alberta Provincial Government is well known by anybody who follows the struggle for recognition of aboriginal rights in Canada as being exceedingly antagonistic to recognition of aboriginal rights and as a major impediment to achieving respect for aboriginal rights both in Alberta and across the country.)
Underscoring the false impression that everybody but the Lubicons is doing just fine -- which of course in turn suggests that lack of settlement is due to some problem with the Lubicons rather than being the fault of the government -- Messrs. Pocock, Boutillier and Kristensen say sweetly that "the case of the Lubicons is a special one". They then go on to make a series of carefully concocted statements of supposed "fact" intended to gently lead the uninitiated to certain fraudulent conclusions about the nature of the problem with the Lubicons supposedly preventing a settlement of Lubicon land rights.
Pocock, Boutillier and Kristensen told the Austrian Ambassador as though it were incontrovertible fact that "the case of the Lubicon Cree Indians...concerns 250 to 300 persons". They then told him that the Lubicons are demanding "about $200 million...compensation in cash". Dividing the $200 million by 300 people they say that the Lubicons are therefore demanding $600,000 per person or "about $3 million per family". (Just in case anybody misses the point of how unreasonable the Lubicons are supposedly being Boutillier and Co. underscore this ridiculous and demonstrably false notion that the Lubicons are demanding $3 million per family by telling the Austrian Ambassador "for the government this looks like a lottery win" -- the calculated image here of course being that the Lubicons are seeking some kind of obscenely huge, unearned, undeserved financial windfall rather than merely seeking the return of a tiny fraction of an estimated $7 billion in resources illegally expropriated from unceded Lubicon territory over the last 14 years by multi-national resource exploitation companies and their cronies in the Alberta Provincial government.)
In fact all of this business about 250 people demanding $3 million per family is just simply baloney -- fabricated stuff artfully contrived by Boutillier and Co. to give people the false impression that the Lubicons are being wildly unreasonable and unrealistic. While it is true that both levels of Canadian Government have been aggressively trying for some time to reduce the Lubicon population to an apparent target of between 250 and 300 people -- which seems to be the number that they've settled on as justifying their breaking the Grimshaw (reserve land) Accord (in spite of the fact that the Grimshaw Accord was deliberately not based on population numbers) -- there's no clear evidence that they've succeeded. There are just frequent, typically unattributed claims on their part that there are only 250 to 300 Lubicons left -- the others supposedly having been siphoned off to join one or other of the two new Bands created by the Federal Government (with the advice and assistance of the Boutillier bunch) expressly to siphon off Lubicon members. (In addition to the lack of evidence to support claims by the Boutillier bunch that there are only 250 to 300 Lubicons left both levels of Canadian government have made demonstrably false claims about the number of Lubicons on a number of previous occasions -- casting into serious question any such claims they now make.)
Best estimates are that the various well documented efforts of Canadian government to disassemble the Lubicon society have reduced the Lubicon population from a little over 500 in December of 1988 to probably a little over 400 currently -- the known Lubicon population having grown some since December of 1988 and the majority of those belonging to the newly created Woodland and Loon River Bands never having been on the Lubicon membership list in the first place. Nobody knows for sure exactly what the numbers are or might be tomorrow because membership numbers are constantly in flux depending upon births, deaths, things like domestic disputes (some of which are known to have been fomented by Federal and Provincial officials) and the current state of play politically; i.e. whether or not a Loon settlement is imminent or Woodland negotiations will be re-opened (neither of which appears to be in the cards at the moment).
Most informed observers believe that the Lubicon population will likely again settle at about 500 people if well-documented efforts by both levels of Canadian government to artificially reduce the Lubicon population cease. (It is clear, however, that there will have to be agreement on some population number for productive negotiations to proceed on such population-related items as housing and related infrastructure. The Lubicons have consequently proposed to fix the population number for the purpose of settlement negotiations at the last point when there was general agreement on membership numbers; namely 477 at the time of the Grimshaw Accord in October of 1988 before both levels of Canadian Government deliberately undertook to subvert Lubicon membership numbers -- and to then build into a settlement agreement provision to make appropriate adjustments over time in things like the number of required housing units, or, more precisely, to take another look at population numbers perhaps three years into reserve construction and to make a decision at that time as to whether more or fewer housing units will be needed to meet the requirements of a more settled population presumably no longer subject to wholly inappropriate government pressures and enticements to jump from Band list to Band list.)
The claim by Boutillier and Co. that the Lubicons are demanding "approximately $200 million...compensation in cash...(or)...about $3 million per family" is also deliberately bogus. The Lubicon cash compensation demand is $100 million in 1988 dollars -- or about 1.5% of the value of the estimated $7 billion in resources which has been illegally expropriated from the unceded Lubicon territories in the last 14 years by the Provincial government working in concert with dozens of multi-national resource exploitation companies. (In addition to cash compensation in the amount of $100 million in 1988 dollars the Lubicons are seeking another $70 million (in 1988 dollars) to construct a hopefully self-sufficient Lubicon reserve; i.e., houses, roads, water, sewer, Band office, community hall, clearing of reserve lands for agricultural purposes, development of a cow/calf herd, etc. The cost of constructing a hopefully self-sufficient Lubicon reserve has been verified by a professional cost assessor jointly appointed specifically for that purpose by the Lubicons and the Federal government who concluded that Lubicon reserve construction cost estimates of $70 million in 1988 dollars are low.)
Regarding the deliberately deceitful inference that the Lubicons will all become fabulously lucky lottery winner type millionaires at the Alberta taxpayers' expense if they receive the "compensation in cash" they are seeking, Boutillier and Co. know that the involved money doesn't come from tax revenues but rather represents a tiny fraction of the value of the resources which have been illegally expropriated from unceded Lubicon lands and that NO Lubicon settlement monies will be distributed to Lubicon individuals or families. The entire $70 million is budgeted to try and rebuild the physical infrastructure and economy of a society which has been systematically destroyed and/or rendered obsolete by multi-billion dollar resource exploitation activity directed by the Alberta Provincial government. And the entire $100 million in cash compensation being sought by the Lubicons is for the specific purpose of creating an interest generating fund producing independent revenues in perpetuity for the Lubicon society to help the Lubicon people meet the long-term, undoubtedly intergenerational costs involved in trying to make the difficult and expensive transition from a once viable traditional society with an economy based on abundant wild plants and animals previously available in their 4,000 square mile traditional territory to a hopefully viable self-sufficient new society with a mixed economy based largely on domestic plants and animals raised on a 95 square mile Indian reserve.
Needless to say Boutillier and Co. have little interest in solving the settlement problems which they've deliberately created but are rather seeking by hook or crook to represent Lubicon population numbers as low as possible and Lubicon settlement numbers as high as possible in order to enable them to then conjure up the ridiculous per capita and per family settlement numbers which they falsely then put forward as incontrovertible fact in contexts such as the disgraceful, deliberately deceitful briefing which they gave the Austrian Ambassador; i.e., $600,000 per person and $3 million per family.
Boutillier and Co. told the Austrian Ambassador that "the Lubicon Cree benefit from an excellent Chicago lawyer who is also motivated by self- interest...(earning an)...income from the land claim negotiations estimated at $200,000 to $250,000 per year". There's an enlightening image for you -- an "excellent Chicago lawyer" making $200,000 to $250,000 per year "from the land claim negotiations". What could be worse? It's no wonder that there's no settlement despite all of the supposed reasonableness of the Alberta Provincial Government. This damn "Chicago lawyer" is making a quarter of a million dollars a year keeping the Lubicons in penury and on welfare.
The only problem with this again indirect, inferred, suggested impressionistic explanation of why there's no settlement -- other of course than there are no "land claim" negotiations and the Lubicons don't have $250,000 a year to pay anybody -- is that the Lubicons don't have and never have had a "Chicago lawyer". They have an advisor who was born in Chicago but who has lived in Alberta for 20 years and who won't get paid unless there's a settlement. (In this context it's notable that the October 1989 edition of a magazine called the "Canadian Lawyer" reported that the Federal government paid Calgary lawyer Brian Malone more than $442,000 for the period from April of 1988 to March of 1989 supposedly to represent the Federal Government in negotiations with the Lubicons which in fact occurred primarily during a brief 6 week period in December of 1988 and the first part of January 1989. The same article reported that the Federal government also paid the Calgary law firm which helped them organize the new Woodland Cree Band over $410,000 for the same period. In addition the Provincial government has had a third law firm on the payroll undoubtedly making at least as much since the mid-1970s helping them devise such ingenious legal strategies to subvert Lubicon legal rights as the notorious retroactive caveat legislation and deliberately destroying the traditional Lubicon economy so that the Lubicon people can no longer claim that they live a traditional way of life on their traditional lands. Thus there is little question that there are lawyers who are benefitting financially from a lack of settlement but they are not Lubicon lawyers, who, like the Lubicon advisor from Edmonton, have in fact worked for years largely on the cuff and who stand little chance of ever being paid UNLESS there's a settlement.)
Boutillier and Co. of course know very well that the advisor from Edmonton who won't get paid unless there's a settlement isn't a "excellent Chicago lawyer" making an "estimated $200,000 to $250,000 per year...from the (non-existent) land claim negotiations". All of that is just purely and simply a carefully calculated pack of lies told by paid professional liars to create a deliberately fraudulent impression about why there's no settlement for an audience whom they presume doesn't know any better -- such as the Austrian Ambassador to Canada.
On the question of the purpose and role of treaty-making Boutillier and Co. put forward perhaps their most illuminating disinformation -- again as though it were indisputable fact instead of self-serving political propaganda. They say that "treaty negotiations are not suited to solve the basic social and cultural policy problems of native people". They suggest that the need is to "bridge the gap between the traditions of the concerned peoples and the social, economic and technological developments in Canada at the beginning of the 21st century". They imply that the real issue is "how the cultural values and social traditions of native people may become (useful or utilized) by Canadian society". And they conclude that "the chosen policy of the federal government of increased autonomy and self-administration (as distinct from self-government) is...certainly a step in the right direction".
Such views are a step in the right direction only if one disregards the facts and complexities of history and seeks to return to a simplistic, jingoistic, racist, colonialistic 19th century "white man's burden" view of aboriginal people and aboriginal land rights.
In fact the purpose of the treaties historically is to define the terms of co-existence between different societies. As such there is no more suitable means available for resolving the "social and cultural policy problems" caused by the contact of different societies.
The notion that one such society should simply conform to the "social, economic and technological developments" of the other is insufferably ethnocentric, offensive and unacceptable -- especially when it involves a more powerful society simply presuming to seize the valuable lands and resources of a less powerful society and then relegating the less powerful society to a role of enforced dependence and subservience. (Simply seizing valuable aboriginal lands and resources may have historically been the hidden agenda of the British or Canadian Crown, and earlier colonial exploiters of other peoples' lands and resources may have also believed that relegating aboriginal people to a role of enforced dependence and subservience is the most efficacious way to try and ensure that the people from whom the valuable lands and resources are being stolen are never in a position to effectively fight back, but simply seizing valuable aboriginal lands and resources was never the openly stated purpose of the British or Canadian Crown in negotiating treaties with indigenous people in Canada -- many of whom were quite able to militarily defend themselves against an overt military invasion of their traditional lands at the time most of those treaties were negotiated. Had it been the openly stated purpose of the British or Canadian Crown to simply seize aboriginal lands and resources in that part of North America now called Canada other aboriginal societies would have undoubtedly been as recalcitrant to go along with their own planned extinction as the Lubicons are being now; it's extremely unlikely that there'd be any treaties with indigenous societies in Canada and the history of this part of North America would be quite different.)
Similarly ethnocentric and offensive is the notion of "self- administration" (as distinct from self-government). "Self- administration" clearly implies one society "administering" the policies devised by another society -- something which simply doesn't happen voluntarily by treaty since by definition it would mean the end of the distinct existence of the society agreeing to administer the policies devised by another society. Certainly none of the treaties with indigenous people in Canada so provide. (In fact the right for the involved parties to remain self-governing is either explicit or implied in earlier treaties between aboriginal societies and the British or Canadian Crown.)
Contrary to the historically inaccurate, self-serving notion of the purpose and role of treaty-making espoused by the Boutillier bunch, what the Lubicons seek through treaty negotiations is rather consistent with what aboriginal people in Canada have traditionally sought. They seek self-sufficient co-existence in a world which is rapidly changing through no actions of their own. And in exchange for the vast lands and valuable resources which they're being asked to share with pushy, powerful outsiders they seek the means minimally necessary for that self- sufficient co-existence.
Specifically the Lubicons seek the return of a tiny fraction of the value of the resources which have been illegally extracted from unceded Lubicon territory so that they can try to rebuild their shattered economy and way of life along different lines. They seek recognition of their right to conduct their own affairs on a tiny fraction of their once vast traditional lands. Being prepared to cede multi-billion dollar sub- surface resources so coveted by powerful non-aboriginal outsiders they seek retention of the limited rights of wildlife management and environmental protection in their traditional territory in order to try and preserve as much of their traditional economy and way of life as possible. And in order to facilitate the complicated, difficult and expensive transition from a once viable traditional hunting and trapping economy to a hopefully viable mixed economy they seek special consideration with regard to employment opportunities generated by resource exploitation activities undertaken in their traditional territory by outsiders.
Contrary to the deliberately deceitful propaganda of both levels of Canadian government there is in fact nothing that the Lubicon people seek which is unique or which is not part of existing treaty agreements with other aboriginal societies in Canada. And one need not simply take the Lubicon's word on it. Copies of Lubicon settlement proposals are in writing. They are publicly available upon request. And they have been reviewed in detail by several independent authorities all of whom have agreed in publicly available reports that Lubicon settlement proposals are neither unique nor unreasonable.
Lastly the two enclosed documents given to the Austrian Ambassador by the Boutillier bunch are similarly dishonest, deceitful and despicable.
The first document is entitled "Recent Settlements of Treaty Land Entitlement Claims in Alberta". It lists the amount of reserve land and financial compensation provided by seven recent settlements without taking into account the number of people involved, the fact that all of the Bands on the provincial list (except the notorious Woodland Cree Band) already had fully developed reserve lands or the profound difference between what the Canadian government euphemistically categorizes as "specific" and "comprehensive claims".
Having already indicated that the Lubicons are seeking to retain 60,800 acres (95 square miles) of their 4,000 square mile traditional territory for reserve purposes and $200 million in financial compensation, Boutillier and Co. gave the Austrian Ambassador a list of "recent settlements...in Alberta" which indicates, for example, that the Sturgeon Lake Band settled for 16,207 acres and $5,575,000 in financial compensation. The purpose of providing these Sturgeon Lake settlement numbers in juxtaposition to the already provided Lubicon numbers is of course to again suggest how dramatically out of line Lubicon demands supposedly are with recent aboriginal settlements.
However the Boutillier bunch is again deliberately playing fast and loose with the truth. What the list of "recent settlements" provided to the Austrian Ambassador conveniently fails to note is that the Sturgeon Lake Band already has a fully developed reserve and that the recent Sturgeon Lake settlement was in fact to provide reserve land and financial compensation for a maximum of 34 people not counted when the main Sturgeon Lake reserve was established in 1908 (typically at odds over the number of people "entitled" to be counted the Band listed 34 people who'd been missed, the Provincial government only agreed that 21 people on the list of 34 had been missed and the federal government only agreed that 32 people of the people on the list of 34 had been missed).
If one deducts Lubicon reserve construction costs, since the Sturgeon Lake Band already has a fully developed reserve financed by the federal government over the years by virtue of a treaty signed with the Sturgeon Lake people in 1899, the Lubicons are seeking $100 million in financial compensation and 60,800 acres in reserve land for about 500 people. As indicated the Sturgeon Lake Band recently received $5,575,000 in financial compensation and 16,207 acres in reserve land for between 21 and 34 people who'd been missed when the size of the main Sturgeon Lake reserve was calculated in 1908. $5,575,000 and 16,207 acres for 21 people is 772 acres and $288,238 per person. $5,575,000 and 16,207 acres for 34 people is 477 acres and $178,030 per person. Were 500 Lubicons to receive reserve land on the same per capita basis as the Sturgeon Lake people recently received the Lubicons would receive between 238,720 and 385,920 acres in reserve land (instead of the 60,800 agreed at Grimshaw) and between $89 and $144 million in financial compensation (instead of the $100 million being sought.)
Similarly with regard to the recent Whitefish Lake Band settlement which provided additional reserve land and financial compensation for 47 people not taken into account when the Whitefish Lake reserve was established also in 1908. The amount of additional reserve land recently provided to the Whitefish Lake Band was in fact 5,832 acres and the amount of financial compensation was in fact $19,666,000. 5,832 acres for 47 people is 124 acres per person. $19,666,000 for 47 people on top of already provided reserve construction costs is $418,425 per person. Were 500 Lubicons to receive reserve land and financial compensation on the same per capita basis as that recently received by the Whitefish Lake people the Lubicons would receive 62,080 acres of reserve land (instead of the 60,800 agreed at Grimshaw) and over $209 million in financial compensation (instead of the $100 million being sought).
The situation is even more dramatic if one takes into account the profound differences between so-called "specific" and "comprehensive" claims.
According to the Canadian government a "comprehensive land claim" is one where an aboriginal society never signed a treaty with the federal government ceding jurisdiction over a typically large traditional territory and is consequently still in a position to negotiate the terms of such a treaty. A "specific land claim", according to the Canadian government, is one where an aboriginal society signed a treaty supposedly ceding traditional aboriginal lands but for whatever reasons didn't end up with the always much smaller amount of reserve land specified by that treaty, or at least didn't end up with all of the reserve land specified by that treaty, and is therefore "entitled" only to whatever reserve land is specified by the involved treaty.
All of the "settlements" on the list provided to the Austrian Ambassador by the Boutillier bunch are "specific" claim settlements. However agreement has never been reached between the Lubicon people and either level of Canadian government as to whether Lubicon land rights are "comprehensive" rights or "specific" rights. The Lubicons understandably insist that their aboriginal land rights are "comprehensive" since they've never signed a treaty or ceded their rightful historic jurisdiction over their traditional territory to anybody in any legally or historically recognized way. Both levels of Canadian government insist that Lubicon land rights are "specific" since agreeing that the Lubicons retain unextinguished aboriginal land rights over the entire traditional Lubicon territory would be tantamount to admitting the terrible truth that the federal government transferred Lubicon lands to the provincial government without first properly obtaining rights to those lands through negotiation of a treaty with the Lubicons -- and that the provincial government consequently doesn't now exercise legitimate jurisdiction over the entire 4,000 square mile traditional Lubicon territory from which it has extracted an estimated $7 billion in valuable resources in the last 14 years. (In this regard it's notable that both levels of Canadian government have made clear that they'll require the Lubicons to sign a formal "adhesion" to Treaty 8 as part of any final settlement agreement -- something which would obviously be redundant if they really believe that the Lubicons are already covered by Treaty 8.)
Admittedly distorting the true picture by ignoring population numbers, as the list provided to the Austrian Ambassador by the Boutillier bunch deliberately does, and simply comparing the Lubicon position on land and financial compensation with the land and financial compensation provided by recent "comprehensive" settlements negotiated with other aboriginal societies in Canada -- as does the list provided to the Austrian Ambassador by the Boutillier bunch -- the suggestion that the Lubicons are being unreasonable and unrealistic becomes even more strained. Compared to the 60,800 acres in reserve land and the $100 million in financial compensation being sought by the Lubicons the James Bay "comprehensive" settlement, for example, provides 1,370,240 acres of reserve land and financial compensation of $135 million. The Yukon "comprehensive" settlement provides 6,424,690 acres of reserve land and $243 million in financial compensation. And the Inuit "comprehensive" settlement provides 9,281,920 acres of reserve land and $580 million in financial compensation.
The second document given to the Austrian Ambassador by the Boutillier bunch is entitled "Comparison of Lubicon Band's Settlement Proposal With Formal Offers Which Have Been Advanced By Canada and Alberta". The false information which this second document contains, and the false impressions which it deliberately creates, are even more pernicious than the false information and impressions deliberately conveyed by the first document.
On the issue of "reserve land" this second document says that providing the Lubicons the 95 square miles of reserve land agreed at Grimshaw is "conditional on (the) Band providing releases for all 477 members at the time of the Grimshaw accord". However, it says, the "Band's current population is estimated to be less than 300". None of this is true but saying it and saying it in this way is again not without conscious design. It deliberately reinforces if only through the type of calculated repetition associated with Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels the impression that there aren't too many Lubicons left. And it creates a deliberately fallacious impression about the terms of the Grimshaw Accord which is clearly intended to prepare people for breaking the Grimshaw Accord.
In fact the 95 square mile reserve agreed at Grimshaw was deliberately not tied to a specific number of people and the Boutillier bunch knows it. Boutillier and Kristensen were both at Grimshaw and they both know the terms of the Grimshaw Accord. (It's not correct information which they lack but other things like decency, honesty, integrity and veracity.)
Premier Getty proposed the Grimshaw Accord specifically over the objections of the Boutillier bunch to get around a long-standing disagreement regarding the number of Lubicons entitled to be counted for purposes of calculating reserve land size. That disagreement was caused by the Boutillier bunch playing earlier versions of their numbers games and the Lubicons steadfastly insisting that they be allowed to determine their own membership and retain 128 acres per person of their traditional territory for reserve purposes as had other aboriginal societies in the surrounding area who'd made treaty with the Canadian government. (At one point, for example, the Lubicons counted hundreds of members all related by blood and by history to the traditional Lubicon territory -- which have always been the main Lubicon membership criteria -- and the Boutillier bunch were arguing that they had calculated by their various and continually changing criteria that there were only 7 or less Lubicons entitled to be counted for purposes of calculating reserve land size.)
Under pressure of Lubicon assertion of jurisdiction over the entire 4,000 square mile traditional Lubicon territory which was threatening the Provincial government's ability to enforce Provincial laws, Premier Getty proposed and Chief Ominayak agreed to settle on an amount of reserve land which both considered "fair" -- independent of the positions of their respective governments on membership numbers. Premier Getty proposed to transfer 79 square miles with full sub-surface rights to the Federal government for purposes of creating a Lubicon reserve. Chief Ominayak responded that he didn't think 79 square miles of reserve land could be considered "fair" when the surrounding Bands that signed Treaty 8 at the turn of the century had received reserve land on the basis of a membership formula which would result in a Lubicon reserve of 95 square miles with full sub-surface rights. Premier Getty then proposed to sell the Federal government another 16 square miles of reserve land without sub-surface rights to make a deal -- still independent of known disagreement over membership numbers. And Chief Ominayak agreed independent of the known disagreement over membership numbers to accept Premier Getty's proposal of 79 square miles with full sub-surface rights plus another 16 square miles with surface rights only on the condition that the Provincial government could not access the sub-surface rights on the 16 square miles without Lubicon agreement.
The Grimshaw deal was made on that basis -- on the basis of an amount of land which the Premier and the Chief agreed in the way indicated to be "fair" -- deliberately not on the basis of membership numbers. (The "releases" referred to in the enclosed "comparison" of proposals and offers sheet given to the Austrian Ambassador by the Boutillier bunch were only requested by Premier Getty at the insistence of Provincial officials and lawyers (including Boutillier and Kristensen) supposedly to provide the Provincial government with legal assurance that it would receive a full and final release from all involved Lubicons specifically regarding the question of reserve land -- not to prove membership numbers or to condition the amount of reserve land agreed by the Chief and the Premier as "fair".)
One additional point need be made on the question of Lubicon membership and that point of course pertains to the reason for the current debate over Lubicon membership. Contrary to the so-called "comparison" sheet given to the Austrian Ambassador by the Boutillier bunch the Grimshaw Accord was made not on December 20, 1989 but on October 22, 1988. Tellingly it is now nearly 6 years later; the Grimshaw Accord still hasn't been implemented and in the interim both levels of Canadian Government have repeatedly tried to render the unimplemented Grimshaw Accord moot by tearing the Lubicon society asunder.
The well-documented efforts to tear the Lubicon society asunder including creation of the new Woodland and Loon River Bands and the more recent Laboucan family initiative have been detailed at length elsewhere. While doing terrible damage to the Lubicon society these efforts have failed to accomplish the informally admitted objective of Federal and Provincial representatives alike to wipe out the Lubicon society altogether. Having failed to wipe out the Lubicon society altogether Boutillier and Co. are now implying that the Grimshaw Accord should be broken essentially because of the damage they claim to have done to Lubicon membership with their nefarious schemes to tear the Lubicon society asunder. If they are allowed to break the Grimshaw Accord on this basis they will thus be rewarded for unprincipled, undemocratic, colonialistic, racist, extra- legal and autocratic behaviour as raw and offensive as that practised by multi-national resource exploitation companies and their government cronies in any tinpot banana republic.
Boutillier and Co. of course know if they're successful in breaking the Grimshaw (reserve land) Accord practically all hope of achieving a fair and equitable settlement of Lubicon land rights will be lost. The Grimshaw (reserve land) Accord is the foundation of any eventual settlement -- the thing upon which other elements of any eventual settlement must be built. It was achieved only after a tough fifteen year struggle primarily with the Alberta Provincial government which included among other things the notorious retroactive caveat legislation, deliberate Provincial government destruction of the traditional Lubicon hunting and trapping economy as part of a Provincial legal strategy designed to subvert Lubicon land rights before the Canadian courts, the Provincial Land Tenure Program including deliberate efforts to deceive pre-literate people into signing away their aboriginal land rights by telling them that they were signing for free firewood or participating in a required population census, threats by the Provincial government to bull-doze Lubicon homes if the Lubicon people didn't accept Provincial government jurisdiction over unceded Lubicon territory, claims by the Provincial government that Lubicon territory couldn't be used to create a reserve for the Lubicon people because it was "occupied" by oil wells owned by oil companies which had been given leases in the unceded Lubicon territory by the Provincial government, Provincial court judges who were ex-oil company head lawyers and the ex-partners of head oil company lawyers involved in Lubicon legal actions, the firing of federal Inquiry Officer E. Davie Fulton after he concluded that the rights of the Lubicon people are being abused, charges by the World Council of Churches that the Alberta government and the oil companies are guilty of actions which could have "genocidal consequences" for the Lubicon people, a procedural decision by the Human Rights Committee of the UN that the Lubicon people can't achieve effective legal or political redress within Canada, a substantive decision by the UN Human Rights Committee finding Canada in violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights over Canadian Government treatment of the Lubicon people, the Lubicon boycott of the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, Lubicon assertion of jurisdiction over traditional Lubicon territory, creation of the Woodland and Loon River Bands under a section of the Indian Act which empowers the federal Indian Affairs Minister to simply take aboriginal societies apart as he sees fit and the recent Laboucan family initiative. In this context, and given the horrific damage already deliberately done to the Lubicon society by this well known and well documented history of official misdeeds perpetuated largely by people associated with Departments of the Alberta Provincial Government where Boutillier and Kristensen worked in senior capacities, there's little doubt that starting all over again debating how many Lubicons there are entitled to how much land would almost certainly constitute an effective death knell for the Lubicons as a distinct people.
On the question of "community construction" the second document plays more games. Having suggested that there are less than 300 Lubicons being offered 95 square miles of reserve land they now say that the federal government is offering $38.3 million for community construction "based on a Band of 500 members" -- noting generally in the "comments column" that the "amount of the federal offer will vary depending on size of Band" but leaving the $38.3 amount as the only number on the page for the mathematically inclined to work with. What the Boutillier bunch have of course deliberately done with this nifty little manoeuvre, among other things, is to again contribute to the overall impression that the smallest possible population is being supposedly "offered" the greatest possible amount of money.
In truth, as indicated earlier, the best information is that the remaining Lubicon population is currently greater than 400 and will likely return to about 500 if both levels of Canadian government stop seeking in every imaginable way to subvert Lubicon membership. Moreover - - although the federal government may not be prepared to honour its "community construction" agreements any more than the Provincial government now seems prepared to honour the Grimshaw (reserve land) Accord, the "community construction" numbers quoted by the Boutillier bunch in the second document have in fact long since been superceded by higher numbers provided by an independent cost assessor jointly appointed by the Lubicons and the Federal government specifically to produce those numbers. (The agreement between the Lubicons and federal representatives is that both sides would abide by the "community construction" figures provided by the jointly appointed independent cost assessor, because, in the words of one Federal official, "these things cost what they cost".)
The "$1 million for construction of an access road to the new reserve" claimed in the community construction column of the second document given to the Austrian Ambassador by the Boutillier bunch is not for the Lubicons at all -- although the involved road would ipso facto serve to connect the proposed reserve road system (in the area surrounding Lubicon Lake) with the Provincial road system. The "$1 million for construction of an access road to the new reserve" is in fact to cover the cost of a length of Provincial government road to give the provincial government access to the shores and bed of Lubicon Lake ala the Grimshaw Accord which provides that the Provincial government (and not the Lubicons) will hold the rights to the shores and bed of Lubicon Lake. (The purpose in misrepresenting $1 million in Provincial road construction as somehow being an offer of $1 million to the Lubicons is of course intended to again contribute to the over-all deliberately deceitful illusion that fewer than the actual number of Lubicons are supposedly being "offered" more than they are in fact being offered.)
On the issues of commercial development, agricultural development and financial compensation the Lubicons have detailed, stand-alone project proposals. The second document provided to the Austrian Ambassador by the Boutillier bunch deliberately confuses these issues by jumbling them up as though all that's involved is the bottom line money number. The purpose of confusing these issues is both to create the false impression that government offers are adequate to cover everything but financial compensation and also to make it harder for the uninitiated to follow the game being played.
After reviewing the Federal government's so-called "take-it-or-leave-it" offer in December of 1989 Premier Getty publicly agreed that the Federal government's "take-it-or-leave-it" offer is "deficient" in the sense that it makes no serious provision for the Lubicons to once again become economically self-sufficient. He therefore made a number of offers to try and "bridge the gap" between what the Federal government had offered and what the Lubicons are seeking.
One of Premier Getty's offers was $10 million dollars from the Provincial government to help "bridge the gap" between Lubicon commercial and agricultural development project proposals valued at $23 million in 1988 dollars and a fuzzy-edged Federal "offer" to establish a $10 million dollar "trust fund". Another of Premier Getty's offers to help "bridge the gap" was "up to $3 million" to cover the cost of constructing an on- reserve community shop/ vocational training centre proposed by the Lubicons and not covered in the Federal government's so-called "offer" at all. (Although key to Lubicon plans for once again achieving economic self-sufficiency the community shop/vocational training centre was not included by the Lubicons with their commercial and economic development proposals but was rather included as a basic community institution under the category of "community construction". Premier Getty's offer of "up to $3 million to cover the cost of constructing the on-reserve community shop/vocational training centre was also included under the category of "community construction". The Boutillier bunch has moved these items around again to create purposeful illusions -- in this case showing Premier Getty's offer of "up to $3 million" for construction of an on- reserve community shop/vocational training centre as though it's part of the government's offer in the area of commercial and agricultural development in order to make it appear that the money being offered the Lubicons in the area of commercial and agricultural development is adequate to cover basically everything but financial compensation (when in fact there are major short-falls in all areas pertaining to the Lubicons once again achieving economic self-sufficiency including commercial development, agricultural development and related community institutions such as the proposed community shop/vocational training centre.)
After making these offers to the Lubicons Premier Getty turned the job of working out the details to the Boutillier bunch. By the time the Boutillier bunch had finished working out the details Premier Getty's proposals were no longer recognizable. The offer of $10 million had inexplicably shrunk to $5 million -- with the Boutillier bunch insisting that it had always been $5 million in spite of the fact that Premier Getty had given Chief Ominayak a piece of paper with the $10 million offer in writing -- and Premier Getty's offer of "up to $3 million" to cover the cost of constructing an on-reserve combined community shop/vocational training centre had been somehow transformed into "up to $3 million" to support an off-reserve academic up-grading trailer operated by the Provincial government for a period of 5 years. (Needless to say $3 million to cover the operating costs of an off-reserve academic up-grading trailer run by the Provincial government makes no contribution whatsoever to specific, detailed Lubicon commercial and agricultural proposals -- it merely reconfigures the operating budget of a Provincial government department.)
The second document given to the Austrian Ambassador by the Boutillier bunch suggests that the Federal government has offered the Lubicons $12.5 million in 1992 dollars supposedly toward specific, detailed Lubicon commercial and agricultural projects costing $23 million in 1988 dollars. Quoting 1992 dollars against projects costed in 1988 dollars of course makes the so-called "offer" look bigger than it really is -- $12.5 million in 1992 dollars is only worth about $8.5 million in 1988 dollars -- and in fact the Federal government has "offered" no such thing. The Federal Government has "offered" $25,000 per person times the number of people unilaterally determined by the Federal government to be "eligible" for receiving "socio-economic benefits" using criteria which officials of the Federal government have made clear will only "qualify" an estimated 300 people -- again the number which has clearly been targeted as justifying the breaking of the Grimshaw (reserve land) Accord. 300 people times $25,000 in 1992 dollars is about $7.5 million in 1992 dollars instead of the $12.5 million in 1992 dollars shown in the second document given to the Austrian Ambassador by the Boutillier bunch to deliberately create the false impression that so-called government "offers" are sufficient to cover the cost of Lubicon commercial and agricultural development projects. And $7.5 million in 1992 dollars is in fact about $5 million in 1988 dollars towards specific, detailed Lubicon commercial and agricultural development projects valued at $23 million in 1988 dollars.
With regard to financial compensation the second document given to the Austrian Ambassador by the Boutillier bunch makes clear by omission that neither level of Canadian government is prepared to discuss financial compensation. In fact both levels of Canadian government have agreed to negotiate financial compensation when it served their political purpose and they then reneged on that agreement when the political pressure on them was alleviated. Following Lubicon assertion of jurisdiction in October of 1988, for example -- in the midst of a tough Federal election campaign and as a pre-requisite to negotiations which the Mulroney government desperately wanted in order to shut down growing Lubicon demonstrations along the campaign trail -- ex-Prime Minister Brian Mulroney's Chief of Staff Derek Burney agreed in writing to negotiate financial compensation. Once the election was over and Mulroney had been successfully re-elected, however, Mr. Burney simply refused to discuss financial compensation and told the Lubicons to go to the Canadian courts if they thought they had any compensation coming. Similarly, going into what was thought to be a problematic Provincial election last year Provincial Native Affairs Minister Mike Cardinal sought a meeting with the Lubicons during which he indicated that he was prepared to recommend to the Provincial Cabinet -- with the support of Premier Ralph Klein -- that the Provincial Government provide the Lubicons $6 million dollars a year for ten years in financial compensation "for ruining the lifestyle of a people". Mr. Cardinal told the Lubicons that he was assured of receiving the support of the Provincial Cabinet for his proposal of $60 million in financial compensation "for ruining the lifestyle of a people". Once Provincial government political fortunes improved, however, Mr. Cardinal stopped talking about providing the Lubicons $6 million a year for ten years to compensate for "ruining the lifestyle of a people" and instead sent Lubicon Chief Ominayak a letter, almost certainly drafted by the ubiquitous Boutillier, saying "I would assure you that I am prepared to explore any proposals which, within reasonable cost, would assist the Lubicon people in regaining self-sufficiency". (Notably the letter in which Mr. Cardinal talks about "reasonable cost" proposals also "confirm(s)" -- without the membership qualification now so prominent in Provincial Government propaganda -- "that the Government of Alberta is prepared to honour the terms of the accord reached at Grimshaw regarding the establishment of a 95 square mile Reserve for the use and benefit of the Lubicon people".)
With regard to financial compensation the second document provided to the Austrian Ambassador by the Boutillier bunch also says that the Federal government has "offered" the Lubicons the supposed "right to arbitrate on (the) issue of (the Federal government's) failure to create (a) Reserve (in 1939 under Treaty 8). Some "right". It requires the Lubicons to cede their traditional aboriginal land rights over some 4,000 square miles of resource-rich traditional Lubicon territory in order to even talk about compensation which the Lubicons might be owed because the Federal government failed to establish a partial Lubicon reserve of 25.4 square miles in 1939 under a Treaty which the Lubicons didn't sign -- in other words possible compensation for an unfulfilled treaty land entitlement to 25.4 square miles of reserve land if the Lubicons first agree to cede unextinguished aboriginal land rights over 4,000 square miles of unceded resource-rich traditional Lubicon territory.
Then in response to its own question as to whether the Federal government owes the Lubicons any financial compensation for failing to establish this partial 25.4 square mile reserve in 1939 under a treaty which the Lubicons didn't sign, Federal Justice Department lawyer Ivan Whitehall predictably has a ready answer; namely, any compensation which might be owed to the Lubicons by the Federal government by virtue of the Federal government failing to create a 25.4 square mile reserve in 1939 has supposedly been more than paid by the welfare which the Lubicons have been receiving the last 12 or so years as the result of having their traditional hunting and trapping economy deliberately destroyed by multi- billion dollar resource exploitation activity (conducted as least partially in furtherance of a Provincial government legal strategy specifically designed to subvert the legal rights of the Lubicon people before the Canadian courts).
Adding insult to injury the so-called Federal "offer" of the supposed "right to arbitrate on (the) issue of failure to create (a) Reserve" calls for that arbitration to occur under a piece of Canadian government legislation called the Commercial Arbitration Act. The Commercial Arbitration Act provides, among other things, that any award of financial compensation which the Lubicons might receive under the Commercial Arbitration Act can be appealed to the Canadian courts and "set aside" if found by Canadian government appointed judges to be "in conflict with the public policy of Canada". The "public policy of Canada" is of course whatever the Federal government determines it to be from time to time. (Tinpot banana republics have nothing on the governments of Canada and Alberta when it comes to dealing with the land rights of aboriginal people.)
With regard to "self-government" the second document provided to the Austrian Ambassador says that the "Lubicon Settlement Proposal" is "Special legislation respecting Lubicon self-government to be negotiated after (the) land claim settlement". It does not say, as is the case, that the Lubicons insist that there be agreement on the principles and powers of Lubicon self-government as part of any settlement and that the only thing open for post-settlement negotiation are the provisions of any necessary complementary or enabling Federal legislation. (Given the infernal duplicity continuously demonstrated by both levels of Canadian Government the Lubicon people might be well advised to reconsider their position on this point and refuse to sign anything but perhaps a partial settlement agreement covering only those items fully agreed pending detailed, written final agreement on all settlement-related items.)
With regard to "costs" the second document provided to the Austrian Ambassador by the Boutillier bunch says that the Federal government has "offered" the Lubicons $1.5 million towards claimed Lubicon costs of $4 million. This isn't true either. What is true is that the Federal government loaned the Lubicon people $1.5 million in 1986 against anticipated compensation in order to repay a bank loan which had been used by the Lubicon people to cover the cost of going to court in 1982 and trying to get the Canadian courts to freeze resource exploitation activity in the traditional Lubicon territory pending determination of who legally owns traditional Lubicon land and resources.
The Lubicon people went to court in 1982 to try and freeze resource exploitation activity because extensive resource exploitation activity in their traditional territory was rapidly destroying their traditional economy and way of life and the question of ownership would consequently soon be rendered moot since there would be nothing left of the Lubicon society. (The Provincial government obviously believes the same thing -- it's the basis then as now of the Provincial government strategy to get away with stealing Lubicon land and resources.)
Having no financial resources of their own the Lubicon people appealed to the Federal government for assistance in financing the proposed Lubicon legal action. No financial assistance was forthcoming from the Federal government so the desperate Lubicons negotiated a bank loan to finance the legal action. The Federal government finally loaned the Lubicon people the money to repay this bank loan several years later after Federal Inquiry Officer E. Davie Fulton officially concluded that in light of the history involved the Lubicon people had no reasonable alternative but to try and seek redress from the Canadian courts -- and that the Federal government therefore had a responsibility pursuant to the Canadian Constitution to ensure that the Lubicon people had their day in court.
As it turned out having one's day in court before the Canadian courts proved to be only a very expensive lesson for the Lubicons on how things work in Canada. The Provincial judge of first instance was the ex-head lawyer for one of the involved oil companies who concluded in spite of uncontested evidence to the contrary that the Lubicon people had no way of life left to protect. The Lubicons next faced a Chief Justice of the Alberta Court of Appeal who was the ex-partner of the head oil company lawyer on the case as well as the ex-family lawyer of the Provincial Premier who'd given the Provincial Premier his first job as a lawyer in the main oil company law firm. The Alberta Court of Appeal then concluded that the Lubicon people didn't need to freeze resource exploitation activity in the traditional Lubicon territory because the Lubicons would supposedly be able "to restore the wilderness with money damages" if they could ever prove in such loaded Canadian courts that they owned their unceded traditional territory. Finally the case was appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada where another ex-oil company lawyer turned Supreme Court judge declined to hear the appeal. This Supreme Court judge has since resigned from the Supreme Court to sit on the Board of one of the oil companies operating in unceded Lubicon territory. (As indicated earlier tinpot banana republics have nothing on the governments of Canada and Alberta when it comes to dealing with the land rights of aboriginal people.)
Lastly the second document given to the Austrian Ambassador by the Boutillier bunch says that the Lubicons seek "joint control over wildlife management and environmental protection within traditional lands". It says that the Provincial Government has agreed "to create a Council which would allocate traplines and advise regarding other matters". But, it says, Provincial government "agreement was negotiated in (the) fall of 1988...and did not take into account (the newly created) Woodland Cree and Loon River Bands".
Again the truth is quite different.
The Lubicons have always insisted on retaining the rights of wildlife management and environmental protection over their traditional territory as part of any settlement of Lubicon land rights. Physically unable to stop the powerful outside society from invading their traditional territory and simply taking billions of dollars worth of valuable sub- surface resources the Lubicons have remained committed to at least trying to protect, preserve and even restore the plants and animals on the surface upon which they've historically depended for survival.
Following Lubicon assertion of jurisdiction over the entire 4,000 square mile traditional Lubicon territory in October of 1988 Provincial officials under orders from then Provincial Premier Getty -- including Boutillier and Kristensen -- agreed to declare the entire traditional Lubicon territory to be a special Lubicon "Wildlife Management Unit" (WMU). By agreement this special Lubicon WMU would be under a largely aboriginal Council with specified powers defined through a political agreement between the Provincial Government and the Government of the Lubicon people which neither could unilaterally change. In addition to allocating traplines and certain advisory powers (mainly with regard to environmental regulations) this special Lubicon WMU Council would designate special historical, religious, cultural, floral and wildlife areas where development activity will not be allowed. This special Lubicon WMU Council would also have the power to determine how much game of each species could be taken, how much of the allowable game is necessary for purposes of aboriginal subsistence and how much game can therefore be taken by outsiders.
Because their traditional territory is bounded by the traditional territories of other aboriginal societies, and to some extent overlaps with the traditional territories of other aboriginal societies, the Lubicon people consulted with the neighbouring aboriginal societies about what they were seeking to achieve and invited those societies to have full voting representation on the special Lubicon WMU Council. At that time those neighbouring societies supported what the Lubicon people were seeking to achieve and indicated that they'd be pleased to participate on the special Lubicon WMU Council as full voting members.
Since this wildlife management and environmental agreement was negotiated with Provincial officials (including Boutillier and Kristensen) several things have changed. Premier Getty is no longer around to remind the obviously forgetful Boutillier bunch that a person's word should count for something and two new Bands have been created, one on either side of the traditional Lubicon territory -- both of which are known to basically hew to whatever they're told to do by their Federal and Provincial government benefactors. The Lubicon special WMU agreement may therefore have to be revisited. If so the Lubicon proposal is to create a special WMU for each of the involved Bands with boundaries defined by the area where each predominates. A person belonging to one aboriginal society with a trapline located in an area where the traplines of a neighbouring aboriginal society predominate would be subject to the regulations of the WMU Council responsible for the area where the traplines of their members predominate.
In the end what the "briefing" given to the Austrian Ambassador reveals more clearly than it has ever been revealed before is the strategy to finish off the Lubicon people and complete the outright theft of valuable Lubicon lands and resources. That strategy is to both break and to get away with breaking a Grimshaw (reserve land) Accord which ex-Premier Getty is believed to still consider a matter of personal honour and which was acclaimed with great fanfare while the whole world was watching. All of the other manufactured stuff about the terms of the Grimshaw Accord and the smaller number of Lubicons demanding far more than any other aboriginal society while being mislead by a self-interested "Chicago lawyer" is just stuck in there to confuse the issues, to blur the horrible continuing injustice and to rationalize and justify or to at least enable the breaking the Grimshaw (reserve land) Accord.
That's the essence of what the Boutillier bunch is doing -- what the thing is all about. It's also the face of genocide in the modern world both in terms of its impact on individual Lubicons -- who are literally dying all matter of unnatural deaths as a direct consequence -- and in terms of its impact on Lubicon society -- which is battered nearly beyond recognition and is clearly unable to forever withstand the continuing assault by both levels of Canadian government and dozens of multi- national resource exploitation companies many of which clearly have more power to pursue their mercenary interests than some governments apparently have to protect and preserve the public interest, to ensure respect for rights supposedly protected by law and to honour agreements made on behalf of such governments by duly elected political leaders.
It is therefore terribly important to make clear to both levels of Canadian Government -- and to their multi-national resource exploitation company cronies -- that there is absolutely nothing they can say or do which will cause people to lose track of the essential issues involved in the Lubicon struggle, or to conclude that they are somehow justified in breaking the critical Grimshaw (reserve land) Accord, or to not hold them accountable for the terrible things they do.
ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF GERMAN LANGUAGE REPORT BY THE AUSTRIAN AMBASSADOR TO CANADA REGARDING A BRIEFING ON THE LUBICON SITUATION WHICH HE RECEIVED FROM SENIOR OFFICIALS OF THE ALBERTA PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT
Ottawa, June 15, 1995 (sic)
Lubicon Cree Indians;
Briefing with Assistant Deputy
Minister Gary Pocock, Mr. Ken Boutillier
and Mr. John Kristiansen (sic)
Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Dept. I.7, II.9
On the occasion of the official visit of the undersigned (Austrian Ambassador to Canada) to Alberta a briefing was arranged by the government of Alberta concerning the land claim negotiations of the Lubicon Cree Indians. In addition to Mr. Gary Pocock, Assistant Deputy Minister of Planning and Coordination for the Provincial Department of Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs, participants in the information talks were Mr. Ken Boutillier, Executive Director of Indian Land Claims for the Provincial Department of Family and Social Services and (Mr. John Kristensen), Executive Director (technically Director) of the Federal/Provincial Relations Division for the Provincial Department of Family and Social Services.
Specifically the following (information) was presented (to the Austrian Ambassador by Messrs. Pocock, Boutillier and Kristensen):
The resolution (urging the Canadian Government to negotiate a "mutually satisfactory settlement of Lubicon land rights) (unanimously) passed by the Austrian National Assembly could (according to Messrs. Pocock, Boutillier and Kristensen) easily have led to a disturbance of bilateral relationships with Austria. It was (according to Messrs. Pocock, Boutillier and Kristensen) not based on facts but on misunderstandings and was passed (supposedly) without consulting the Canadian Government. Finally, however (according to the Austrian Ambassador), it was admitted (by Messrs. Pocock, Boutillier and Kristensen) that the text of the resolution was "sensitively and diplomatically phrased".
The undersigned (Austrian Ambassador to Canada) responded immediately (to Messrs. Pocock, Boutillier and Kristensen by telling them) that the interest of members of the Austrian National Council in the fate of the Lubicon Indians is related to the increase in democratic processes around the world and is a phenomenon which can after all only be found in more developed democracies.
(The Austrian Ambassador told Messrs. Pocock, Boutillier and Kristensen that) in Austria organizations and individuals exist who are relatively well informed about the situation of the Lubicon Indians. (The Austrian Ambassador said that) the interest in Indigenous peoples was especially strong during the United Nations Year of Indigenous Peoples. The undersigned (Austrian Ambassador to Canada) denied that the negotiations in the Austrian National Council (pertaining to development the Lubicon resolution) were done without consulting the Canadian Government. On the contrary (the Austrian Ambassador told Boutillier and Co.) that the Canadian Government was involved in the process of developing the text (of the resolution) through the Canadian Embassy in Vienna. (The Austrian Ambassador said that Canadian) Ambassador (to Austria) Peter Walker had sufficient opportunity to present the opinion of the Canadian Government in writing to Members of the Austrian National Council. (The Austrian Ambassador said that) the text (of the resolution), as accepted by the Austrian National Council, was formulated very cautiously because of the involvement of Canadian diplomatic representation in Vienna. (Translators note: The objective of both levels of Canadian Government was of course to defeat any resolution supportive of recognizing the aboriginal land rights of the Lubicon people. Although Canadian government officials failed to block the resolution altogether they did manage through some pretty muscular political lobbying -- sufficiently muscular to offend a number of Austrian Parliamentarians -- to get the Austrian Parliamentarians to make wording changes in the resolution which ultimately went forward and received the unanimous support of the Austrian National Council. Failure to block the resolution altogether is apparently what inspired the petulant performance put on by the Boutillier bunch for the benefit of the Austrian Ambassador.)
Assistant Deputy Minister Pocock and both experts of the Ministry of Family and Social Services then (told the Austrian Ambassador) the following:
There are 44 Bands of native people in Alberta. Ten Bands recently finished their land claim negotiations with the Government. The case of the Lubicon Cree Indians is a special one. It concerns 250 to 300 persons. In 1988 an agreement was made about the amount of (reserve) land to be set aside for the (Lubicons) (95 square miles = 238 square kilometres). Negotiations about compensation in cash are still underway. The amount is approximately 200 million dollars; i.e., about $3 million per family. For the (provincial) government this looks like a lottery win (underlining added). The government proposal amounts to $30-$35,000 per person but the Lubicons demand $600,000 per person. However (according to the Boutillier bunch) a settlement is still possible. (Translators note: There are a number of deliberate misrepresentations in these statements by officials of the Alberta Provincial government. First there are at least 47 recognized Indian Bands in Alberta and there've been only 7 settlements, five of which involved Bands that signed treaty at the turn of the century and already have established reserves but where a small number of people had not been taken into account for purposes of calculating reserve land size, the other two of which were in fact settled on government-dictated terms for political reasons directly attributable to the Lubicon struggle --like trying to counter negative publicity resulting from the Lubicon boycott of the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. Next, although both levels of Canadian Government have been doing their level best since January of 1989 to disassemble Lubicon society, the last official Lubicon population count was in fact nearly 500 people -- not 250 to 300 people as claimed by the Boutillier bunch. Third 95 square miles equals 247 square kilometres -- not 238 square kilometres. Fourth, contrary to the impression deliberately created by the Boutillier bunch that the question of reserve land is a fait accompli, both levels of Canadian Government have attempted to break the as yet unimplemented 1988 (Grimshaw) reserve land Accord and Provincial claims that there only 250 to 300 Lubicons are part of a current effort by the Provincial government to break the Grimshaw (reserve land) Accord. Fifth "negotiations about compensation in cash" are not "still underway" -- there are currently no negotiations about compensation or anything else and there haven't been for over two years. Sixth the amount of financial compensation demanded by the Lubicons is not $200 million as claimed by the Boutillier bunch but $100 million in 1988 dollars - - any amount on the table over $100 million in 1988 dollars being specifically designated for necessary reserve construction costs. And seventh claims by Boutillier and Co. that the Lubicons are demanding $600,000 per person or $3 million per family are flatly ridiculous -- the result of made-up numbers and artificially manipulating those made-up numbers.)
(According to Messrs. Pocock, Boutillier and Kristensen) the Lubicon Cree benefit from an excellent Chicago lawyer who is also motivated by self- interest. (They claim that) his income from the land claim negotiations is estimated at $200,000 to $250,000 per year. The undersigned (Austrian Ambassador to Canada) was given a list of settled treaty land entitlement claims in Alberta dated February 8, 1994 (which the Austrian Ambassador notes in his report lists only 9 points, not 10 settlements as claimed in the briefing), together with a summary of the negotiating positions of the Lubicon Cree, the government of Alberta and the Federal Government -- status April 26 (1994) -- and a map of Alberta showing the reserves of various Indian Bands broken down into treaty areas (Treaty 4, 6, 8 and 10). (Translators note: The enclosed list provided to the Austrian Ambassador by the Boutillier bunch actually only cites 7 settlements plus the unimplemented Grimshaw reserve land "Accord" and 4 "negotiations in progress" -- not ten settlements as claimed by Messrs. Pocock, Boutillier and Kristensen. The Lubicons don't have and never have had a "Chicago lawyer" who earns $200,000 to $250,000 from non-existent land claims negotiations -- they have an advisor who was born in Chicago but who has lived in Alberta for 20 years and who in fact won't be paid for his work until there's a settlement. The little pieces of Treaties 4 and 10 mentioned in the Austrian Ambassador's report are inconsequential in Alberta while Treaty 7 -- strangely not mentioned at all in the Austrian Ambassador's report -- covers most of southern Alberta. And the self- serving so-called "summary" or "comparison" of the negotiating positions of the parties given to the Austrian Ambassador by Boutillier and Co. deliberately distorts and misrepresents the issues involved in the Lubicon case, the positions of the parties and the related numbers nearly beyond recognition.)
Finally the (Provincial) government representatives stated that (in their view) treaty negotiations are not suited to solve the basic social and cultural policy problems of native peoples. They (claimed that treaty negotiations) do not provide any new ways to bridge the gap between the traditions of the concerned peoples and the social, economic and technological developments in Canada at the beginning of the 21st century. (They stated that) the issue of how the cultural values and social traditions of native people may become (useful or utilized) by Canadian society is still unanswered and is not the issue of negotiations or the policy of the federal Government. (They said that) the chosen policy of the federal government of increased autonomy (for aboriginal people) and self-administration (as distinct from self-government) is however certainly seen (by Messrs. Pocock, Boutillier and Kristensen) to be a step in the right direction.
The undersigned (Austrian Ambassador to Canada) mentioned (to the provincial government officials) that he wants to visit the Lubicon Cree Indians at a later date and to report back to Austrian authorities. (Assistant Deputy) Minister Pocock and his colleagues (told the Austrian Ambassador) that they would be pleased to provide a briefing (for the Austrian Ambassador) prior to his visiting the Lubicons and to assist in organizing such a visit. (Translators note: Given the carnival huckster's "now you see it now you don't" job done on the Austrian Ambassador during the above recorded "briefing" on land claim negotiations, one can imagine what kind of elaborate illusions Messrs. Boutillier and Co. would seek to conjure up for the Austrian Ambassador in order to try and convince him that the demonstrably once happy and contented Lubicons are somehow the authors of the obvious poverty and degradation they now suffer in the midst of multi-billion dollar resource exploitation of their unceded traditional lands and resources.)
The (Austrian) Ambassador:
Dr. Walter Lichem