Lubicon response to bald-faced lies about Lubicon water situation
from Friends of the Lubicon, March 16, 2007
Below please find an article from the magazine Alberta Views on the Lubicon situation called “No Deal”. Also, please find a letter to Alberta Views from Lubicon Elder Reinie Jobin regarding purposefully malicious, reprehensible bald-faced lies told about the terrible Lubicon water situation by a cowardly, unnamed federal government negotiator in the Alberta Views article.
Letter to Alberta Views from Lubicon Elder Reinie Jobin
Alberta Views March 11, 2007
208-320 23rd Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta T2S 0J2
Re: Feature Report by Amy Steele in the March 2007 edition of Alberta views entitled “NO DEAL — The land claims of the Lubicon Cree are still not settled. As oil sands activity heats up, a deal seems even more remote”.
Some of the statements attributed to representatives of the federal and provincial governments in Amy Steele’s Feature Report on lack of a Lubicon settlement are demonstrably untrue, such as Provincial Negotiator Alan Maitland’s claim that the Lubicons have refused to consult on oilsands activity, and federal spokesman Glen Luff’s claim that the Lubicons have refused to return to the negotiating table.
Some of the statements attributed to Messrs. Maitland and Luff in the article should make clear to the critical reader why a settlement of Lubicon land rights has not been achieved, such as Mr. Maitland’s claim that Lubicon land rights were extinguished in 1899 by a treaty which he acknowledges the Lubicons didn’t sign, and Mr. Luff’s statement that the federal government “has offered to enter into talks with the Lubicon on a (non-binding) self-government framework agreement” but is not prepared to recognize the right of the Lubicon people to be self-governing as part of a binding settlement of Lubicon land rights.
But beyond all of the distortions, misrepresentations, factual inaccuracies and arguable positions put forward by named federal and provincial representatives as supposedly indisputable fact, the article contains purposefully malicious, reprehensible bald-faced lies told about the terrible Lubicon water situation by a cowardly, unnamed federal government negotiator — the type of person Canada sends to the negotiating table to negotiate Lubicon land rights with the Lubicon people — who spoke to Amy Steele only on the grounds of “anonymity”.
This nameless, faceless federal government negotiator falsely told Amy Steele “during the last round of negotiations, the federal government offered to provide a water truck and to have homes retrofitted with water tanks in advance of a final settlement, but the Lubicon rejected the offer”.
This nameless, faceless federal government negotiator told Amy Steele the Lubicons “decided strategically that they have a more effective case in the public eye — with reporters like (Amy Steele) and lots of other Canadians and particularly people overseas — on the basis that they live in Third World conditions with no running water or sewer”.
This nameless, faceless federal government negotiator told Amy Steele “Frankly that is by choice”. He said “The part that’s dishonest is to go out and say that the Government of Canada wants it this way, that they’re in Third World conditions and the federal and provincial government won’t do anything about it”.
Amy Steele concludes that “the truth is impossible to verify…because there’s no documentation of what exactly was said during land claims negotiations”. Amy Steele is wrong. The so-called federal offer to provide the Lubicons with water and sewer was not made at the Lubicon land rights negotiating table, and what was actually put forward by federal officials with regard to Lubicon water and sewer services starting in August of 2006 — nearly three years after land negotiations broke down — is very well documented.
The Lubicon people will be very pleased to share this documentation with Alberta Views and anybody else who is interested in knowing the truth and gaining insight into how supposedly honorable Canadian government officials, hiding their iniquity behind off-the-record, not-for-attribution background media briefings, seek to deceive and manipulate Canadians into believing it’s the Lubicons and not Canada that is responsible for the appalling Third World poverty and deprivation under which the Lubicon people live in the midst of multi-billion dollar exploitation of oil and gas resources from lands which we have never ceded to anybody in any legally or historically recognized way.
ORIGINAL SIGNED BY
Lubicon Lake Indian Nation
Friends of the Lubicon
P.O. Box 444, Stn. D,
Canada, M9A 4X4
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