Planning Session of Support Groups of North American Indigenous Peoples
WHEREAS in 1899 the Government of Canada made a treaty with indigenous peoples in the area surrounding the traditional Lubicon territory purporting to extinguish indigenous land rights in northern Alberta;
AND WHEREAS traditional Lubicon lands wereisolated, inaccessible and geographically unknown to the Government of Canada at the time the Government of Canada entered into treaty with the indigenous peoples in the area surrounding the traditional Lubicon territory;
AND WHEREAS the Lubicon people were consequently missed by the Canadian government treaty party, have never signed a treaty with the Government of Canada extinguishing Lubicon ownership of traditional Lubicon lands and therefore retain unceded aboriginal title to traditional Lubicon lands;
AND WHEREAS the Government of Canada first established contact with the Lubicon people in 1939, officially recognized that the Lubicon people are a distinct indigenous society with land rights and promised to establish a Lubicon reserve;
AND WHEREAS the Lubicon people have been seeking unsuccessfully to negotiate a settlement of Lubicon land rights with the Government of Canada ever since first contact in 1939;
AND WHEREAS indigenous societies negotiating land settlement treaties with the Government of Canada have historically been allowed to determine their own membership -- which has in turn traditionally been used to calculate reserve land quantum;
AND WHEREAS successful negotiation of Lubicon land rights and establishment of a Lubicon reserve was effectively blocked for a number of years by the Alberta Provincial government demanding the right to play a role in determination of the traditionally related issues of Lubicon membership and reserve land quantum;
AND WHEREAS in October of 1988 then Alberta Provincial Premier Getty resolved the long- standing dispute between the Lubicons and the Provincial government over membership and reserve land quantum by proposing to base the amount of land which the Provincial government would be prepared to transfer to the Federal government for purposes of negotiating a settlement of Lubicon land rights and establishing a Lubicon reserve on what the Premier and Lubicon Chief Ominayak as two honourable men could agree was "fair".
AND WHEREAS the Premier and the Chief met in a northern Alberta community called Grimshaw and agreed to a reserve land quantum of 95 square miles;
AND WHEREAS the reserve land agreement between the Premier and the Chief is called the "Grimshaw Accord" after the community in northern Alberta where it was made;
AND WHEREAS all that basically remained to achieve settlement of Lubicon land rights following the "Grimshaw Accord" was for the Federal government to negotiate reserve construction and financial compensation with the Lubicon people -- as well as of course for the Federal government to request transfer of the 95 square miles agreed at Grimshaw.
AND WHEREAS Federal officials deliberately broke down settlement negotiations January of 1989 with a so-called "take-it-or-leave-it" settlement offer which they knew in advance was unacceptable since it did not make adequate provision for the Lubicons to once again become economically self-sufficient -- a conclusion not only of the Lubicons but of Premier Getty and independent observers such as the Lubicon Settlement Commission of Review;
AND WHEREAS following the break-down of negotiations in January of 1989 the Federal government sent agents into northern Alberta to try and organize the political overthrow of duly elected Lubicon leadership;
AND WHEREAS when the effort to politically overthrow duly elected Lubicon leadership failed Federal officials commenced a well-documented campaign to dismember Lubicon society by creating two new Indian Bands in the surrounding area and trying to entice individual Lubicons into joining these new Bands by offering them what Federal officials openly called "little bribes".
AND WHEREAS following Premier Getty's departure from office in 1992 Provincial officials also became actively involved in the effort to tear Lubicon society asunder through "little bribes", spreading disinformation about settlement issues and negotiations among the Lubicon people, making unlikely promises to Lubicons who cooperate with initiatives designed to undermine duly elected Lubicon leadership, rubbing raw resulting tensions and divisions within Lubicon society, encouraging and supporting dissent, and, most recently, attempting to fragment Lubicon society still further by organizing government sponsored dissenters into a proposed new third Band.
AND WHEREAS Provincial officials are now falsely claiming that the "Grimshaw Accord" was based on membership allegedly reduced by Federal government creation of the two new Bands, that the "Grimshaw Accord" should therefore effectively be abdicated, and, as Provincial officials insisted before Premier Getty resolved the long-standing dispute over land and membership with the "Grimshaw Accord", that the Provincial government should be involved in determination of Lubicon membership and reserve land quantum;
AND WHEREAS representatives of European Support Groups were in Alberta when the Grimshaw Accord was made and know that it was not based on membership but was rather based on a proposal by Premier Getty to set the question of membership aside and instead base reserve land quantum on what the Premier and the Chief could agree was "fair";
AND WHEREAS abdication of the Grimshaw Accord would push things back to a point to before Premier Getty resolved the long-standing land and membership dispute between the Provincial government and the Lubicons, would significantly reduce any hope of ever achieving an equitable settlement of Lubicon land rights and would effectively reward both levels of Canadian government for blatant divide and conquer tactics which no decent human being could possibly countenance;
NOW THEREFORE the participants of the Tenth Annual Meeting of Support Groups for North American Indigenous Peoples representing 25 organizations from 10 European countries hereby resolve to work to ensure that the Alberta Provincial government:
1.)honour the Grimshaw Accord made between Premier Getty and Chief Ominayak in October of 1988;
2.)stop spreading deliberately deceitful misinformation about the basis and nature of the Grimshaw Accord;
3.)cease efforts to destabilize Lubicon society by creating, encouraging and supporting dissent;
4.)Cooperate with hopefully sincere current efforts by the Federal government to negotiate a fair and equitable settlement of Lubicon land rights.
Robert Glattau, GfbV(Austria)
Renate Domnick, GfbV (Germany)
Dionys Zink, Chairperson of the Euromeeting