LITTLE BUFFALO, AB, Jan. 28, 2013 /CNW/ - In solidarity with the international day of action by Idle No More today, the Government and citizens of the Lubicon Lake Nation intend to take their protest to Alberta Highway 986, the main highway and oil and gas artery running out of their lands. As with previous Lubicon actions, this demonstration of sovereignty and exercise of jurisdiction is peaceful in nature and should not be misconstrued as a "blockade". Rather Lubicon protestors will demonstrate at roadside to bring attention to widespread actions by the Conservative Government and Aboriginal Affairs (AAND-C) to interfere with Lubicon governance and deny them the legal opportunity to settle their long overdue Land Rights Settlement with the Crown as required by the Constitution.
"Harper might have apologized for residential schools, but its clear to us that the only thing he is sorry about is that we weren't wiped out completely" said Councillor Bryan Laboucan of the demonstration. "The ongoing interference with our governance structures and assimilation tactics are cultural genocide, in fact the United Nations have cited the Government of Canada repeatedly for these human rights abuses against our people."
According to the Canadian Constitution, the Government of Canada is required to enter into Treaty with any First Nation, it is only after Treaty that a First Nation falls under Federal jurisdiction and Section 91 of the Constitution. The lack of jurisdiction has not stopped the Government of Canada from negatively interfering in Lubicon governance. In 2010, AAND-C cut off all funding to the Lubicon Lake Nation and redirected it to an outside firm for administration citing an "internal leadership dispute" as the justification. Officials from Canada at that time advised the Nation must resolve that dispute internally before funding would be restored.
In June 2011, Lubicon officials and all parties to the "internal leadership dispute" advised AAND-C that a resolution had been reached in accordance with Lubicon custom. Canada continues to refuse to recognize that resolution, and through a "facilitator" are attempting to continue to create division within the Nation. A report uncovered by Lubicon officials indicates that the AAND-C "facilitator" is attempting to manufacture a further dispute using a small group of disgruntled people, many of whom are employed by the same firm who was awarded the contract to administer Lubicon funds.
Chief Bernard Ominayak said of the demonstrations "We're not here to issue threats to anybody, but there is a clear and resounding call by the Lubicon people for change in the way the Government of Canada is dealing with this issue. If that change doesn't come through the willingness of the Conservative Government the direction we as a Nation go in order to effect that change will be up to the people."
SOURCE: Lubicon Lake Nation
For further information:
Garrett Tomlinson - Communications Coordinator
Lubicon Lake Nation
P.O. Box 6731 Stn. Main
Peace River, AB T8S 1S5
Office (780) 629-3945
Direct (780) 618-3794