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.