Canada Advances Claim Negotiations with Lubicon Lake Band and Alberta
CALGARY, March 20, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, today met with the Honourable Jim Prentice, Premier of Alberta, and Chief Billy Joe Laboucan of the Lubicon Lake Band. At this meeting, Minister Valcourt announced the appointment of Ralph Peterson as Chief Federal Negotiator in the land claim talks with the Lubicon Lake Band and the Government of Alberta.
As demonstrated by this appointment, the Government of Canada is firmly committed to advancing the work on shared solutions that will lead to an improved quality of life, new economic opportunities and greater prosperity for members of the Lubicon Lake Band.
During his address, Minister Valcourt noted that today's announcement clearly demonstrates the resolve of all parties to work together on a settlement that balances the interests of all Canadians.
- Lubicon Lake Band is located approximately 450 kilometres north of Edmonton, Alberta, in the non-reserve community of Little Buffalo and has a population of 502 people.
- Lubicon Lake Band is the last of the Treaty 8 isolated communities that were missed by the Treaty Commissioners at the time of treaty making well over 100 years ago.
- Since the late 1980s, Canada has settled ten Treaty Land Entitlement claims in Treaty 8 territory.
- In keeping with a signed Negotiation Framework, the discussions led by Mr. Peterson will focus on the priorities identified by the Lubicon: creation of a reserve pursuant to treaty; community construction on the future reserve lands; and resolution of Lubicon's claims to other treaty benefits.
"Our Government is delivering results for Canadians and taking the next step toward a settlement that would improve living conditions and build a more vibrant, prosperous and self-sufficient community that can seize new investment and business opportunities to create jobs and economic growth. The appointment of a Chief Federal Negotiator is a clear demonstration of our commitment to advance this important joint work toward a successful conclusion."
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
"The people of Lubicon are optimistic that this nearly 80 year land claim will be resolved with the appointment of the Federal Chief Negotiator, Ralph W. Peterson. To the credit of the previous Chief and Council, there had been a lot of work accomplished, thus our work will not be so arduous nor lengthy. We are anxious to build on the momentum that has been achieved in the last two years since we commenced discussions with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada following our election in February 2013. It is time to bring this claim to its final resolution."
Chief Billy Joe Laboucan
Lubicon Lake Band
"I am proud to be part of a Government that is committed to working with its partners to create the conditions for prosperous, self-sufficient communities that can seize new investment and business opportunities to create jobs and economic growth."
Member of Parliament for Peace River
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SOURCE Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
For further information: Emily Hillstrom, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, 819-997-0002; Media Relations, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, 819-953-1160