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lubicon solidarity meeting
outaouais lubicon solidarity is meeting on
tuesday, 25 july, 7 pm
153 laurier east (wheel chair accessible)
1-getting suspended negotiations between the lubicon crees and federal
government back on track.
2-planning for 26th september gathering on parliament hill
in the 1930's, the federal government promised a reserve area to the lubicon
lake indian nation. but then oil was discovered in their traditional
territory. sixty years later, the lubicons still don't have a reserve. they
have no land rights agreement, no protection from corporations destroying
their natural environment and stealing their resources, and no compensation.
The Lubicon Crees are a small aboriginal society consisting of about 500
people. Their 10 000 square kilometre traditional territory is located in
northern Alberta. The Lubicons have not ceded their traditional lands in any
legally or historically recognized manner.
Until the 1970's, the Lubicons were largely self-sufficient, relying on
hunting, trapping and gathering for their livelihood. Then oil companies
moved into their unceded territory. By 1983, more than 400 oil wells had
been built within a 25 km radius of the Lubicons' community.Moose and other
animals fled from the rapacious activity. Within a decade, the Lubicons'
forest-based economy collapsed. Tuberculosis, respiratory and skin diseases,
cancer, still-births and birth defects resulted from the poverty, shattered
social structure and oil pollution. Between 1979 and 1983, social assistance
rate rose from 10 to over 90%. Meanwhile, the oil industry has reaped $500
million annually from Lubicon lands since 1980.
AND NOW ... Until a few weeks ago, the Lubicons were in negotiations with
the federal government to arrive at a just settlement which would give them
a basis on which to build a future for their people. Then the Indian Affairs
office in Alberta sent them a letter telling them that the Lubicon Band
Council would no longer be reimbursed for Lubicon members who lived outside
Little Buffalo (the Lubicons' main community). Because there is no reserve
and no settlement, there is no extra housing, no running water, and no
public amenities in Little Buffalo, Lubicon members, even if they were
otherwise free to disrupt their lives and move to Little Buffalo, would not
be able to do so because there would be no where for them to live. The
effect of the proposed change will be to force Lubicon members to join other
bands or turn to the province for social assistance. The Lubicon people will
be further splintered. When an agreement is reached, will there be anyone
left in the Lubicon Nation? The proposed change has very negative
implications and the Lubicons are calling on organisations and individuals
to protest it to the federal government. The Assembly of First Nations,
representing all the band council chiefs across Canada, passed a resolution
last week calling for the Indian Affairs officials responsible to be fired.
More information www.tao.ca/~fol
Outaouais Lubicon Solidarity is the local support group for the Lubicons and
can be contacted at tel 777 3058, firstname.lastname@example.org. We meet regularly and hope
that you will join us.
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