European Organization's Polite, Persistent, and Firm Response to Prime Minister Harper's form letter

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

June 16, 2006

Below please find a letter from a European organization to Prime Minister Stephen Harper in response to the form letter they received from Mr. Harper’s office. This is a good example of how to politely, firmly and persistently press the Lubicon issue with the current government.


Aktionsgruppe Indianer & Menschenrechte e.V.

Munich, June 16, 2006

Rt. Honourable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Canada

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your immediate acknowledgement of our emailed letter of June 16, 2006 concerning the plight of the Lubicon Cree. We appreciate both the courtesy and the efficiency of an immediate response but can’t help wondering why Lubicon Chief Ominayak does not receive equally prompt responses to the letters he writes to your Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice.

We would also point out that the internationally well-known plight of the Lubicon Cree is a situation deserving of more than mere "review" of the statements made in our June 16th letter and "consideration" of our "views".

We would again point out that Chief Ominayak has written Minister Prentice four letters regarding recommencement of Lubicon land negotiations starting last January 24th and has yet to receive even an acknowledgment of receipt of any of these four letters.

We would again point out that — after literally years of "review" and "consideration" -- two different UN Standing Committees concerned with human rights issues have found Canada in violation of two key different International Human Rights Covenants over Canadian government treatment of the Lubicon Cree.

We would again point out that both findings by both UN Standing Committees clearly spell out Canada’s obligation under these international human rights covenants to resume land negotiations with the Lubicon Cree "with a view to finding a solution to the claims of the Band that ensures the enjoyment of their rights under the (International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights)" -- including financial compensation -- and "which respects the rights of the Band under the (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights)" -- including the right of the Lubicon people to be self-governing.

We would again point out that your government has made absolutely no effort whatsoever to comply with the findings of these two different UN Standing Committees urging Canada to resume Lubicon land negotiations "with a view to finding a solution which respects the rights of the Band" under these two International Human Rights Covenants — including financial compensation and recognition of the Lubicon people to be self-governing -- and has in fact totally ignored and failed to respond to Chief Ominayak’s repeated efforts to return to the negotiating table to negotiate all outstanding Lubicon settlement issues -- including financial compensation and recognition of the right of the Lubicon people to be self-governing.

Both findings by both UN Standing Committees clearly spell out Canada’s obligations under international human rights covenants to resume negotiations with the Lubicon Cree with a view to finding a solution that respects the rights of the Lubicon people.

We repeat, Canadian government refusal to send government negotiators back to the negotiating table with a mandate to negotiate all outstanding Lubicon settlement issues, including financial compensation and recognition of the Lubicon people to be self-governing, is nothing short of refusal to fulfill Canada’s obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

We repeat, Canadian government refusal to send government negotiators back to the negotiating table with a mandate to negotiate all outstanding Lubicon settlement issues, including financial compensation and recognition of the Lubicon people to be self-governing, is nothing short of refusal to fulfill Canada’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

We therefore reiterate our demand that Canada immediately send negotiators to the negotiating table with a clear mandate to negotiate all outstanding Lubicon settlement issues, including financial compensation and recognition of the Lubicon people to be self-governing as part of an overall settlement package.

Yours sincerely

 

Dionys Zink
(AGIM, Member of the Board)


Date: June 16, 2006

From: "Prime Minister/Premier ministre" <pm@pm.gc.ca>

Subject: Office of the Prime Minister / Cabinet du Premier ministre

Dear Mr. Zink:

On behalf of the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, I would like to acknowledge receipt of your e-mail, in which you raised an issue that falls within the portfolio of the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians.

Please be assured that the statements you made have been carefully reviewed. I have taken the liberty of forwarding your e-mail to Minister Prentice so that he too may be made aware of your comments. I am certain that the Minister will give your views every consideration.

Thank you for writing to the Prime Minister. For more information on the Government's initiatives, you may wish to visit the Prime Minister's Web site, at www.pm.gc.ca.

L.A. Lavell

Executive Correspondence Officer
for the Prime Minister's Office
Agent de correspondance
de la haute direction
pour le Cabinet du Premier ministre


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