Faith organizations back call for negotiated settlement

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

March 20, 2006

Faith organizations have been getting behind the call for the new Conservative government to negotiate a full and fair land rights agreement with the Lubicon Nation.

The congregation at Trinity St. Paul’s United Church in Toronto is collecting signatures for the National Lubicon Petition Campaign every Sunday in the lobby after service. Other congregations and faith groups that want to take action on the Lubicon issue are encouraged to do the same. Copies of the petition and information you can provide to members of the church, temple or mosque are available here.

Below you will also find a recent letter to Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice from Mary Corkery, Executive Director of KAIROS: Ecumenical Justice Initiatives.

KAIROS is a coalition of churches and church organizations working on social justice and human rights issues. Its members include the Anglican Church of Canada, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Canadian Religious Conference, the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, the Christian Reformed Church in North America, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, the Mennonite Central Committee of Canada, the Presbyterian Church in Canada, the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund, the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), and the United Church of Canada.

Ms. Corkery says, "we will follow this situation closely and look forward to informing our constituents in the churches about how you were successful in bringing an end to this embarrassing chapter of Canadian history".

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
Fax: (613) 944-9376

March 17, 2006

The Honourable Jim Prentice
Minister of Indian Affairs & Northern Development
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Phone: 613.992.4275 / Fax: 613.947.9475

RE: The Lubicon Lake Cree

Dear Minister Prentice;

On behalf of KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives we would like to congratulate you on your re-election in Calgary Centre-North, and on your appointment as Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians. We are encouraged by the proactive approach you have adopted to addressing issues of concern to Aboriginal peoples in Canada, and in particular we applaud your decision to make clean water in Aboriginal communities one of your priorities.

One Aboriginal community that would stand to benefit greatly from your public commitment to put action before consultation, as well as your years of experience working on land rights issues, is the Lubicon Cree. As you no doubt are aware, the Lubicon Cree are still waiting for the reserve that was promised to them over 60 years ago. Although the Lubicons have been "a priority" for a long line of federal governments, they are still without a land base, or a settlement of their land rights.

We urge you to act immediately to resume land rights negotiations with the Lubicon people, and to entrust your representatives with a full mandate to negotiate all outstanding issues related to finally resolving this long-standing injustice.

Your success in achieving what no other federal government has been able to accomplish in the last six decades will send a strong message that this administration is serious about resolving outstanding disputes with Aboriginal peoples, and in taking concrete action to finally improve their overall standard of living. As someone who has experience working with Aboriginal peoples on Aboriginal rights issues, we are confident you will be able to finally bring justice to what one federal negotiator described as a "black mark" on Canada's history.

As we have done for the last 30 years, we will follow this situation closely and look forward to informing our constituents in the churches about how you were successful in bringing an end to this embarrassing chapter of Canadian history, and in contributing to the development of a new and more positive relationship with Aboriginal peoples.


Mary Corkery
Executive Director


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