- In 2009, the Lubicon Lake Nation held an election and members of the Nation also held a separate election creating what the Government of Canada dubbed an "internal leadership dispute."
- The Lubicon called on the Government to respect the traditional governance instruments of the Nation as they remain a sovereign Nation as they have never signed treaty and are not under the Indian Act. INAC (AAND-C) responded that they could only record results as they have no jurisdiction over the Lubicon and the matter would have to be resolved internally by the Nation.
- In October 2011, INAC hired a "facilitator" named Lorne J. Ternes who was supposedly tasked with mediating the so-called dispute among the Lubicon. They claimed that this facilitator was requested by a petition of the majority of Lubicon members. In fact this petition by the facilitators own admission in his report was circulated and submitted months after his appointment by INAC.
- In June 2012, the dissenting parties reached a resolution by consensus in accordance with Lubicon custom which received written ratification by the majority of Lubicon voters.
- INAC and Canada were informed of this resolution in writing in June and August, 2012. They responded by saying "according to INAC, Lubicon citizens were not engaged in the process of the resolution and as such they would not recognize the leadership of the Lubicon Lake Nation."
- Since there was no longer a dispute, INAC then altered the "facilitator's" mandate to address what they termed a "leadership gap". This was a result of a handful of non-resident members claiming they were not in support of the custom governance resolution. The leadership of the Lubicon Lake Nation refused to meet or speak with the facilitator as his appointment was not consented to or accepted by the Nation, but it was rather a unilateral imposition by Canada into the governance of a Nation which they already stated they had no jurisdiction over.
- As his presence was seen as interfering in the good governance of the Lubicon Lake Nation the Chief, Council and Elders' Council passed a resolution in accordance with the Lubicon Trespass Law 2012-11 barring the "facilitator" from further entering Lubicon territory.
- As the Lubicon Lake Nation is a sovereign Nation and has never required the explicit recognition of INAC or Canada in the past the Lubicon people and leadership agreed that the Council terms should be continued under the custom resolution for the duration of the remaining terms and business would continue within the Nation as usual.
- In the interim and final report released in January 2013 by the "facilitator", he makes reference to his supporting the design of an external body under Alberta provincial jurisdiction known as the "Lubicon Lake Membership Society". He states they would take it upon themselves to redesign the governing instruments of the Lubicon Lake Nation including the Election Code. This entity was formed and operated outside of Lubicon custom and jurisdiction and had no affiliation to the government of the Lubicon. Lawyers for the Lubicon issued cease and desist notices to the society and its directors demanding that they stop utilizing the Lubicon name which is a registered public authority trademark.
- In February, 2013 it was brought the Lubicon Chief and Council's attention that posters advertising a Lubicon election had been put up in a nearby community outside of the widely accepted and commonly known Lubicon territory known as "the Teardrop". It was later learned that these posters were erected by the foreign society under Alberta jurisdiction with the support of INAC through their "facilitator". The posters stated that the election would be held outside the Lubicon territory known as "the Teardrop" (for the first time in history) and that all INAC registered members would be allowed to vote regardless of residency. This note in and of itself indicates a clear violation of Lubicon Election Custom which provides that members must be resident within Lubicon territory to vote and violation of the Lubicon membership code which states that membership is controlled by the Lubicon Lake Nation and is unrelated to the INAC registry which has been repeatedly manipulated by INAC in order to add persons unknown to the Nation and delete true Lubicon citizens from the registry. Also in contravention of the Lubicon Election Code, no notice was placed in the Lubicon community or in the Nation office as required.
- On Friday, February 15, 2013 a meeting was held in another First Nation community outside of Lubicon territory known as "the Teardrop", which was purported to be the advertised election. The vote was conducted by secret ballot (Lubicon custom requires a show of hands) and a so-called "Chief" was acclaimed and 5 so-called "Councilors" were elected. 4 out of the 6 "newly elected" live outside the community. The man acclaimed to be so-called "Chief" is the same man who less than 10 years ago filed a federal court action and entered into evidence his petition and affidavit stating that he was not a Lubicon at all and that he was culturally distinct from the Lubicon people. In 1994, despite widespread concern and a public battle to prevent Unocal from building a Sour Gas plant next to the Lubicon community. He contacted Unocal and the ERCB falsely indicating that the majority of Lubicon supported the construction of the plant and asking for payment for arranging support of the development.
- It was brought to the attention of Council that INAC through its "facilitator" also helped arrange for those registered on INAC's list as Lubicon to be paid to attend the election by setting up store credits at local shops.
- By Monday morning, February 18 (which is the Family Day holiday in Alberta) contacts in the town of Peace River, 100km away from Lubicon territory has already been delivered an undated notice of congratulation from Acting Regional Director of INAC, Jim Sisson to the so-called new "Chief" of the Lubicon Lake band which mentions looking forward to a positive working relationship. This suggests that for the first time ever, INAC officials either worked on a holiday weekend, or the results of the fraudulent election were a foregone conclusion.
- Within 4 business days Alberta officials, at the urging of INAC, had arranged funding for this Indian Act Chief and Council and engaged industry stakeholders and advised them to cease consultation with the Lubicon Lake Nation immediately and direct any current or ongoing consultation regarding development of Lubicon lands to the Indian Act "Chief and Council". Days later the province of Alberta met with resource companies and directed that they will receive land and resource approvals for the Lubicon territory if they "only consult and communicate with the [Indian Act] 'Chief and Council'."
- The Lubicon Lake Nation leadership including the rightful Chief and Council, Elders' Council and Youth Council have all condemned the actions of Canada in perpetrating this fraud in an attempt to interfere in Lubicon governance and our rights to self-determination and self-government as a sovereign Nation. The leadership has held a number of public meetings with the Lubicon citizenship who have showed up in large numbers and indicated their growing outrage regarding this situation. Over 100 people have sent letters to the Minister Of Aboriginal Affairs expressing their outrage at Canada's interference in Lubicon affairs and their non-recognition of this Indian Act Chief and Council.
- On April 2, Lubicon Lake Nation, on the direction of Lubicon people, sent a notice to all industry proponents who are active within Lubicon Territory informing them that the position of Lubicon Lake Nation is to defend our Nation against the interference of Canada and Alberta.
- On April 18, Lubicon Lake Nation has sent a letter to Canada and Alberta putting them on notice that we are a sovereign nation, we are not under the Indian Act, and their actions will not be tolerated. We will continue to abide by Lubicon Law, custom and governance.
- We view their latest attempt of divide and conquer as immoral and disgusting. They have essentially formed a new "band" that is under the Indian Act and assigned them a Chief and Council. Even the term "band" is archaic, colonial Indian Act language which is not accepted by the Lubicon Lake Nation and has not been utilized for many years.
Welcome to the website for the Lubicon Lake Nation.
We are the Lubicon Lake Nation: a sovereign and self-determining peoples. The Lubicon Lake Nation is a distinct Indigenous Nation with a well-defined traditional Territory in what is now known as north-central Alberta, Canada (see Map). We are Cree peoples, Neheyiwak, and were and have been hunting, fishing and trapping on our Traditional Territory long before the creation of Canada. We continue to occupy and protect our Traditional Territory today. We have never surrendered or ceded our land to a foreign government. Our Nation maintains jurisdiction over, authority for, and autonomy of our Traditional Territory, Nation and peoples.
The Lubicon Lake Nation has been engaged in a struggle with the governments of Canada and Alberta for a number of decades. During this time, we have seen attempts to take our land, attempts to undermine our authority and ongoing efforts aimed at dismantling our Nation.
Through all of this, the message we have sent is elemental and clear: we are the First Peoples in our Traditional Territory. We protect our land and territory in accordance with our customs, laws and traditions. We govern in our territory in accordance with our customs, laws and traditions. We remain sovereign. We remain self-determining.
It is important that people know that we are not defined by what we fight; we are defined by where we come from, who we are and how we live. In order to be able to fight we have consistently and constantly understood, lived in accordance with and enforced our laws. These are not easily understood, not easily ascertained and not easily interpreted if you do not live where we live and as we live as Lubicon peoples.
In order to survive, thrive, as Indigenous peoples we remain committed to those laws, customs and traditions. This is especially important now as we face a new era of administrative, political and legal machinations aimed at our peoples.
Our sovereignty is fully in tact. We continue to self-determine. We are strong, able, and determined as a Nation. We are still standing.
WILDFIRE NOTICE: PWF118
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resources Development has advised the Government of the Lubicon Lake Nation of a new wildfire start approximately 15-20 kilometres north of Simon Lake in 15-9-88-17W5M.
Currently the wildfire is out of control at 80 hectares. There are three air tanker groups, three helicopters and three dozer groups working to contain the fire. It appears this fire will move into a wetland area through the evening, slowing its progress overnight.
Smoke has been noted to be blowing from this fire to the Lubicon communities of Little Buffalo as well as Kinosew Sakahikan.
Further information will be posted as it becomes available.
For up to date information contact:
Garrett Tomlinson, EMT
Communications / Industry Liaison
Emergency Services Coordinator
Direct (780) 618-3794
In 1952, the Director of the Technical Division of Provincial Lands and Forests alerted the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs to the existence of "minerals" on Lubicon Territory and expressed their anxious "desire to clear our records of this provisional reserve."1 While we waited for a settlement negotiation, the Lubicon Nation continued to require recognition of our territoriality and Traditional Territory, in land previously approved by both governments.2
Through the 50's, 60's and 70's, oil and gas company made exploratory invasions on our Traditional Territory to attempt to secure oil and gas reserves.3 In an effort to stop further encroachment on our land, the Lubicon Nation filed a caveat in 1975.4 This indicated our intention to assert through law our Aboriginal title to our Territory based on existing, un-extinguished and constitutionally protected Aboriginal and treaty rights.5 We took this step in addition to the ongoing adherence to our customs, laws and traditions protecting the land. To the shock and dismay of many, Alberta responded by retroactively passing Bill 29, changing the law to remove the legal basis for the Lubicon case.6 The wait for land settlement negotiations continued.
That same year, without consulting the Lubicon Nation, the Alberta government built an all-weather road through our Traditional Territory to facilitate oil and gas company crew travel.7 Development exploded. By 1982 there were over 400 wells within a 15-mile radius of our Territory.8 Oil and gas crews clear-cut interlacing swaths of land through the bush; traplines were turned into private roads for developers; and "No Trespassing" signs were erected by developers on Lubicon land.9 In 1980, fires related to oil field development destroyed as much of the Lubicon hunting area as in the previous twenty years. Meanwhile, oil companies were producing revenues of $1.2 million a day.10 Fires and oil spills continue in our territory.
You can see this devastation by tapping on the links to your right.