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Protecting Lubicon Traditional Territory

Jumbo Pipeline

In November 2007, TransCanada PipeLine announced plans to construct a major new natural gas pipeline running from northeastern British Columbia, through the middle of Lubicon Territory, and over to supply tar sands operations in the Fort McMurray area of northeastern Alberta. Lubicon Nation is opposed to the pipeline.


Oil and gas exploitation

Over 1700 oil and gas wells, & 1000's of miles of bulldozed roads destroyed a traditional way of life and forced the fight for survival of & justice for the Lubicon people.
While the Lubicon Nation tries to negotiate a settlement of Lubicon land rights with the federal and Alberta governments, the Alberta Government authorizes more and more oil and gas wells and pipelines within Lubicon Traditional Territory. In 2002 there were already over 1,700 oil or gas well sites in Lubicon Traditional Territory and countless miles of pipelines connecting those to market. Since that time an average of 75 new oil and gas wells and a similar number of pipelines have been approved each year for Lubicon lands.

A further 52,288 hectares of land within Lubicon Territory was leased to oil and gas companies in 2005 alone, netting the province almost $5 million in one-time bonus payments for the land.

All of these wells, pipelines and leases are designed to steal non-renewable Lubicon resources prior to any Treaty determining who has rights to the very lands and resources being forever altered by these developments.

The Lubicon Nation estimates that over $13 billion in oil and gas resources have been taken from Lubicon Traditional Territory since oil and gas exploitation was begun in earnest 26 years ago. From that, the Alberta government receives — by conservative estimates — somewhere around 20% in royalties.

The Lubicon people, for their part, have received no royalties, no taxes, and no financial compensation for what oil and gas development has done to their traditional economy and way of life. At most the Lubicon people have received some seasonal employment building leases and rights of way for developments they neither control nor approve.

For some quick facts about the effects of oil and gas exploitation, please click here.

For a chronology of the Lubicon struggle against government-backed resource exploitation, please click here.

For a more detailed description of the Lubicon struggle, which describes at length Lubicon efforts to negotiate a settlement of their land rights while at the same time trying to prevent the destruction of those lands under negotiation please see the Land Rights Negotations Backgrounder.


Oil Sands

In 2004, a group of companies began efforts to exploit oil sands in the heart of the Lubicon Territory. After a lengthy campaign the company agreed to require Lubicon approval before proceeding with any developments in their territory.
At the oil sands site, Lubicon Elder Reinie Jobin.


Forestry


Aspen on Lubicon land, once considered "weed" trees, are now coveted by the forestry industry
In 1988, a transnational forest company, Daishowa (now Daishowa-Marubeni International or DMI), was granted rights to clear-cut almost the entire Lubicon Traditional Territory. Fearing that their lands would be torn apart even as they negotiate a land rights settlement with Canada, the Lubicon people launched an international boycott of Daishowa paper products demanding that the company refrain from cutting in Lubicon territory until land rights are settled.

After eight years, a lengthy legal action against Friends of the Lubicon and reportedly over $20 million in lost sales, the company wrote to Lubicon Chief Bernard Ominayak agreeing not to cut or to buy wood cut in the Lubicon territory until the land rights have been resolved.

More information on DMI and the Lubicon

More information on the Daishowa v Friends of the Lubicon legal action
Updated May 2000

Since that time other forestry companies including Tolko and Alberta Plywood have signed agreements to stay out of Lubicon Territory until the rights to the lands and resources are resolved. Nevertheless, each year the Lubicons face threats of incursions by other forestry companies who do not respect their rights.

More information on agreements to stay out of Lubicon territory (Info currently only available by contacting FOL)

More information on problems with other forestry companies (Info currently only available by contacting FOL)

Promising not to use clear-cut harvesting methods in Lubicon territory, Daishowa has met with the Lubicon government to discuss alternative harvesting methods which might be acceptable to the Lubicon people post-settlement.


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