Lubicon Boycott of Daishowa moves to the U.S.

The article below appeared in the Fall 1996 issue of 'On Indian Land' and is reproduced with permission of its publisher (Marsha Shaiman in Seattle at 206-525-5086 phone and fax) and author.

Noteworthy in the article is

  1. the concrete action people are encouraged to take in opposition to Daishowa's plans to level unceded Lubicon territory under a cloak of judicial silence.

  2. contact info for a person in the States working on the issue.

Contact information in the article below has been updated from the original article.

Three words are left out of the article below which rendered the original inaccurate in two places and potentially confusing in a third. They are 'Inc.' and 'Inc.' in the first paragraph and 'Club' in the fifth.

It's safe to say that the more people know about the spread of the Daishowa Boycott to the USA, the more likely this sort of legal "swording" of citizens using the pen won't be attempted by corporations like Daishowa.

Support the Lubicon Cree Indian Nation - Stop Daishowa

If you have been reading On Indian Land for at least the last year, you should be acquainted with the intense struggle of the Lubicon Lake Cree Nation of northern Alberta, Canada and the boycott against Daishowa.

Although the Lubicon Cree have no treaty with the Canadian government and have never ceded their land, the Alberta provincial government has sold logging rights to their unceded territory to Daishowa.

The paper products company was asked to wait for a land claim settlement agreement to be completed between the Lubicon and the Canadian government before logging. Daishowa began logging anyway, but halted their operation shortly after the initiation of the boycott in 1991.

While a number of people across Canada and around the world responded to the Lubicon call for a boycott of Daishowa paper products, the main organized effort was undertaken by a Toronto, Ontario-based Lubicon support group, Toronto Friends of the Lubicon. Because Daishowa doesn't market its paper products directly to the public, but rather to other corporations, the Toronto Friends of the Lubicon targeted companies using Daishowa products.

Primarily as a result of their efforts 47 companies representing over 4300 retail outlets have joined the boycott in Canada and Daishowa reports a $5 million loss due to the boycott. So far pressure generated by the boycott has kept Daishowa at bay and no further logging of Lubicon land has taken place..yet.

Instead of making a clear, public and unequivocal commitment not to cut or buy wood cut on Lubicon land until the land rights dispute is resolved, Daishowa challenged the boycott in the provincial courts of Ontario and eventually won an injunction against the boycott. According to Friends attorney Karen Wristen of the Sierra Legal Defence Fund, "The court has said essentially that the intention to cause economic harm made this boycott illegal." Daishowa is engaging in a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the Friends of the Lubicon for their losses.

Daishowa Boycott Picks Up In Washington

With the Friends of the Lubicon's hands tied and democratic consumer rights squashed by the (courts of the Ontario) provincial government, Daishowa is free to take Lubicon trees without objection from their Canadian critics. Instead of containing the boycott within Canadian borders, this decision has forced the boycott into the international consumer market.

Since consumer pressure in the form of a boycott is the only tactic that has kept Daishowa out of Lubicon territory, escalating the boycott is the only way to save Lubicon trees. As a consumer public, we need to educate ourselves about the products we use and understand that our conveniences are often at the expense of indigenous exploitation.

Daishowa has a mill at Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State, and a corporate office in Seattle, Washington. Products of the Port Angeles mill include pulp and groundwood specialty papers. The Washington Post is printed on Daishowa paper, the New York Post was cited as being printed on Daishowa paper and probably continues to be. Gannett Publishing was also cited as a Daishowa buyer and is most likely still a Daishowa customer. They publish 83 newspapers including U.S.A. Today.

Most recently, GTE and U.S. West telephone directories have confirmed as being printed on Daishowa paper. These directories claim to be at least 25% to 40% recycled paper. The Port Angeles Daishowa mill in Washington recycles old directories and sells back the paper to GTE and U.S. West. This might not seem so bad, but the fact remains that this is still Daishowa, a forest industry conglomerate. There are plenty of alternatives for 100% recycled paper and non-wood paper. (sic)

Pressure on these companies and help identifying other Daishowa customers is greatly needed. Write to these companies and voice your objection to their use of Daishowa paper:

Jamie Loa, GTE Directories, 1115 S. Boyal Ave., Los Angeles CA 90023. Phone: (213) 265-6809.

Jim Pierce, Director of Printing, distribution, Recycling, U.S. West direct, 198 Inverness Dr. W., Inglewood, CO 80112. Phone: (303) 784-2584.

Write Daishowa and let them know you are supporting the international boycott of Daishowa.

Daishowa America, 7200 Columbia Center, 701 5th Ave., Seattle WA 98104 Phone: (206) 623-1772 or (800) 331-6314, Fax: (206)452-6576.

Shogo Nakano, President, Daishowa Paper Manufacturing Co. Ltd. Tokyo Head Office, 6-1 Asahi Tokai Building, Otemachi 2-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan

Tom Hamaoka, Executive V. Pres., Daishowa-Marubeni International, Suite 3500, Park Place, 666 Burrard St., Vancouver, B.C., V6C 2X8 Canada. Phone:(604) 681-6659

Always send copies of correspondence that you send and receive to the Lubicon Lake Indian Nation, P.O. Box 6731 Peace River, AB, T8S 1S5 Canada.

For more information, a Daishowa boycott packet, or to help with the Daishowa boycott, contact Dan Clarke, 5317-46th Ave S., Seattle WA 98118. Phone: (206) 723-4703. Fax (206) 525-5086