Appeal to supporters to send letters to new Prime Minister of Canada & Minister of Indian Affairs (including some excellent supporter letters already sent)

Friends of the Lubicon
PO Box 444 Stn D,
Etobicoke ON M9A 4X4
Tel: (416) 763-7500
Email: fol (at) tao (dot) ca
www.lubicon.ca
 

Feb 21, 2006

On Feb 6,, Canada’s new Prime Minister Stephen Harper was sworn in Ottawa. Mr. Harper named Calgary-Centre-North Member of Parliament Jim Prentice as Minister of Indian Affairs.

Mr. Prentice is familiar with the issue of Lubicon land rights and the failure of the previous government to negotiate a resolution of this long-standing Canadian human rights issue.

Last June, Mr. Prentice wrote to then-Indian Affairs Minister Andy Scott saying:

"After 20 months in office, the Prime Minister has failed to live up to his promise to the Lubicon people …. I call upon you and your colleagues to begin immediate negotiations towards a settlement of Lubicon land rights, and to conduct a comprehensive environmental assessment of proposed oil sands development projects."

Now Mr. Prentice and Stephen Harper are in a position to act on those concerns.

Lubicon supporters can send letters to Mr. Harper and Mr. Prentice urging them to swiftly accomplish what previous federal governments have all failed to do by immediately convening negotiations with the Lubicon Nation towards a settlement of Lubicon land rights.

Please write to:

Jim Prentice was the Minister of Indian Affairs when the above was written, the new minister is

The Hon. Chuck Strahl
Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs
Government of Canada
Ottawa, ON K1A 0H4
Canada
Fax: (613) 944-9376
Email: strahl.c@parl.gc.ca

Please send noted copies of your letters to:

Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
Government of Canada
Ottawa, ON K1A 0H4
Canada

Please send copies of your letters to:

Friends of the Lubicon
P.O. Box 444, Stn. D,
Etobicoke, ON
Canada, M9A 4X4

Email: fol@tao.ca

Canadian residents can also assist the Lubicon Nation further by joining the national Lubicon petition campaign. Copies of the petition and downloadable information you can hand out to friends, co-workers and others is available here.

Below are some excellent letters already sent by Lubicon supporters.

 


Some Excellent Supporters Letters

Aktionsgruppe Indianer & Menschenrechte e.V.

München, February 13, 2006

Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
Houses of Parliament
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Canada

Dear Sir,

Congratulations on your victory in the latest Canadian federal elections. A new government always brings with it hope that it will solve the problems facing the people it represents.

As a human rights organization based in Munich, Germany, we have been observing and supporting the struggle of the Lubicon Lake Indian Nation in northern Alberta since 1986. We have seen successive Canadian federal governments come and go and witnessed time and again how these past governments would announce that they would give priority to settling this long-standing land rights dispute but would then fail to do so. We have also witnessed how the UN Human Rights Committee in 1990 and again in 2005 found Canada in violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights over abuse of Lubicon human and aboriginal rights.

From documentation provided by both sides at the negotiation table European support organizations are very well aware of the Lubicon Lake Indian Nation’s settlement positions and objectives. We are convinced, as have been many others over the years including the Hon. E. Davie Fulton and the independent Lubicon Settlement Commission of Review, that Lubicon settlement proposals are reasonable and modest. Almost everything in Lubicon proposals for a land rights settlement has at one point or another been agreed by either the Province of Alberta or previous Canadian federal governments. If the governments of Canada and Alberta merely honor agreements already made, there is very little left to be done for your government to accomplish a settlement of Lubicon land rights, to meet its constitutional responsibilities and to meet Canada’s obligation under the International Covenant.

We therefore urge the Harper government to start land settlement negotiations with the Lubicon Lake Indian Nation at the earliest possible date. We ask that federal negotiators be given a full mandate to negotiate all outstanding settlement issues and firm instructions to negotiate in good faith. And we also ask that the Lubicon Lake Indian Nation be provided the means necessary to support Lubicon participation in the negotiation process.

AGIM and our European partner organizations will continue to carefully monitor the developments in the case of the Lubicon Lake Indian Nation. We are committed to a just settlement and remain prepared to do anything we can to support its achievement. What we would like most to be able to do is spread the news of a positive outcome under your new government.

Yours sincerely

Ludwig Seiller
(AGIM, Chairperson)

cc
Lubicon Lake Indian Nation , Friends of the Lubicon, Toronto

 


February 14, 2006

The Hon. Jim Prentice
Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs
Government of Canada
Ottawa, ON K1A 0H4

Dear Mr. Prentice,

I know that you are very familiar with and concerned about the issue of Lubicon land rights and the failure of successive governments to negotiate a resolution of this long-standing Canadian human rights issue.

I’ve been following the issue ever since the mid-eighties, when Canadian church leaders and the World Council of Churches alerted their members to the disastrous consequences for the Lubicon people of oil and gas development in their territories. Around that time, a report submitted by the Honourable E.D. Fulton to the Honourable David Crombie raised real hopes of a settlement, but negotiations based on the report broke down only because Ottawa refused to recognize the Band’s right to determine its own membership.

There must surely be a negotiable solution to this terrible travesty of justice. Please immediately convene negotiations with the Lubicon Nation towards a settlement of their land rights. An achievement of a settlement by your government would be a great achievement and step forward in relations among aboriginal people and other Canadians.

Yours sincerely,

Moira Hutchinson

 


February 7, 2006

The Hon. Jim Prentice
Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs
Government of Canada
Ottawa, ON K1A 0H4

Dear Jim;

Re: Lubicon Settlement

Congratulations on your appointment as Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs. I have confidence in your commitment to justice and reconciliation with First Nations communities.

In that regard, you have an opportunity to make history. While in Opposition you criticized the previous government, quite rightly, for failing to achieve a just settlement with the Lubicon Nation of Northern Alberta.

I urge you to achieve a settlement during the lifetime of this government. There is no reason for yet another failure. I would like nothing better than to celebrate with you and the Lubicon people. What a legacy! As you know, I have been involved in this struggle for 22 years. The lack of a just settlement is truly a disgrace.

I would be pleased to talk with you when you are in Calgary. Meanwhile, I wish you well in your new responsibilities. You have a real opportunity to demonstrate Canada’s commitment to justice and right relations.

You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Peace,

The Very Rev. Dr. Bill Phipps

cc: Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper

Friends of the Lubicon

 


February 6, 2006

Prime Minister Stephen Harper
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2

Dear Prime Minister;

As you may be aware, the Lubicon Cree, a band of approximately 500 indigenous people living in Northern Alberta, were overlooked when a treaty was signed with other First Nations in the area in 1899, but have never surrendered their rights to their traditional territories. Since the 1970s, there has been massive oil and gas development on these lands, which the Lubicon say has devastated their health and way of life, and the ecosystems on which they depend for their livelihood.

In 1990, the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) concluded that both "historical inequities" and "more recent developments" had indeed endangered the Lubicon Cree culture and way of life, adding that these threats constituted violations of their fundamental human rights. The UNHRC reaffirmed these conclusions in October of last year, urging the Canadian government to resume land-claims negotiations. Amnesty International continues to cite Canada’s failure to do so in its annual human rights reports.

As an incoming Prime Minister, and one committed to the decentralization of federal government powers to the local level wherever possible, you have a unique opportunity to resume good-faith negotiations with the Lubicon Nation, and to proceed immediately toward a full and equitable settlement of this issue, and I respectfully urge you to do so without delay.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Beck

Cc: The Hon. Jim Prentice
The Hon. Pearl Calahesan
Friends of the Lubicon


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