July 9, 2008
Please find below an excellent letter to TransCanada Corporation regarding the Lubicon situation. Similar letters to the company from Lubicon supporters are encouraged.
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Aktionsgruppe Indianer & Menschenrechte e.V.
gemeinnütziger Verein zur Unterstützung nordamerikanischer Indianer
Tel.: +49-89-35 65 18 36
Fax: +49-89-35 65 18 37
Infotelefon: +49-89-35 65 27 58
Munich, July 4th, 2008
Mr. Arthur Cunningham
Senior Aboriginal Policy Advisor
Aboriginal and Tribal Relations
TransCanada Pipelines Ltd.
Dear Mr. Cunningham,
Recent communication received from the Lubicon Lake Indian Nation informs us that TransCanada has suggested Amnesty International as an intermediator between the Lubicon Lake Indian Nation and TransCanada in the dispute over TransCanadas plans to build a natural gas pipeline across unceded Lubicon territory without Lubicon consent. With yet another attempt to disguise TransCanadas true intent to proceed with your plans over Lubicon objections despite the fact that the Lubicons have not ceded their rights to traditional Lubicon Territory to anybody in any legally or historically recognized way, we think your tactics deserve to be exposed to a wider and international public.
You are fully aware that Canada has not negotiated a land settlement agreement with the Lubicon people and that the Lubicon people therefore retain their aboriginal title and rights over unceded Lubicon Territory. However you proceed as through the Alberta government has rightful jurisdiction over unceded Lubicon land and the Lubicon people have no rights other than to be informed of your plans.
You are fully aware that various UN Human Rights bodies have investigated the Lubicons situation since the 1980s and found that resource exploitation activity in unceded Lubicon Territory without Lubicon consent violates key human rights covenants to which Canada is a signatory. However you proceed as though Canada and Canadians are not bound by the human rights covenants to which Canada is a signatory.
Taking the position that unceded Lubicon land rights have nothing to do with TransCanada building a huge new pipeline across unceded Lubicon land contradicts known facts. Claiming that TransCanada is obeying provincial regulations and Canadian law is a very lame cover-up for the fact that your company is actively involved in violating the internationally recognized human rights of the Lubicon Cree.
Adding insult to injury you now use the good name of an internationally respected and highly credible human rights organization to try and create the false impression that TransCanada has a legitimate position that can be mediated by an independent party -- something thats ridiculous on the face of it. Respect for human rights is not something you mediate. Respect for human rights is either something you either do or dont do.
What you in fact do is nothing else than setting up a mock-legality and a pseudo-righteous position designed to fool the public about TransCanadas real intention to violate the internationally recognized human rights of the Lubicon people and to push aside an aboriginal society that stands between your company and huge profits.
In more than 20 years of support work we at AGIM never have seen such a more cynical approach to feigning respect for human rights.
Original signed by
(AGIM, Member of the Board)
cc: Lubicon Lake Indian Nation
Amnesty International, Canada
Incomindios - Switzerland
AKIN - Austria
Society for Threatened Peoples -- Germany
Society for Threatened Peoples -- Austria
Society for Threatened Peoples -- Italy
Working Circle Indians Today -- Germany
DCIV -- The Netherlands
IWGIA -- Denmark
Survival International -- U.K.
fol-request at masses.tao.ca