Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
  1. Minister
    Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
    EXECUTIVE OFFICES
    10 Wellington Street
    Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0H4
    Canada
    Telephone : 819-997-0002
    Fax : 819-953-4941
    john.duncan@parl.gc.ca

     

    August 12, 2012

     

    Dear Minister Duncan:

    I am writing this letter as a citizen who is concerned with your possible infringement of the inherent rights of the Lubicon Lake Nation. Most particularly, I am concerned with your intrusion into the nature and authority of the Lubicon through:

    1. Failing to observe and recognize the Lubicon Lake Nation’s inherent right to govern themselves on their territory in accordance with their customs, traditions and laws;
    2. Failing to acknowledge the rightful government of the Lubicon Lake Nation; and
    3. Failing to sit with Chief Ominayak and the leadership of the Lubicon Lake Nation in Lubicon traditional territory in order to address their territoriality, rights, claim and jurisdiction.

    Further, I note that you have for three years publicly stated that the resolution of the leadership of the Lubicon Lake Nation was an internal issue upon which you would not intrude. Additionally, you stated that you would not have dialogue with either Bernard Ominayak or Steve Noskey until the Nation resolved an issue you /your staff characterized as a leadership issue. That issue has been resolved. It may not have resulted in a decision that you prefer or in a manner which is reflective of your system. That is the nature of custom and traditional governance: they are custom to the Indigenous Nation and traditionally utilized in the context of the Nation’s custom and traditions. Your refusal to honour your statements and those of your staff and your refusal to meet with Chief Ominayak and the Nation in the traditional territory of the Lubicon Lake Nation have the potential to dishonor Canada and to breach international, national and Lubicon law. As a concerned citizen, I request that you honour those statements, Canada and the law and meet with Chief Ominayak and the government of the Lubicon Lake Nation in their territory.

    Finally, it has come to my attention that you have initiated a process which sidesteps Lubicon Lake Nation traditional governance and authority and devised a process taking place outside of the Nation and without regard to or the approval or participation of the Lubicon Lake Nation. Ostensibly addressing a host of “outstanding Lubicon issues”, this process, I understand, is based upon the Government of Canada’s goals and agenda and has the potential to silence many Lubicon Lake Nation people while privileging those who have access to transportation, do not live in the traditional territory, have access to Government of Canada information, and / or who may have agendas consistent with the Government of Canada and not of the Nation and its traditional government. Certainly there are outstanding concerns in many communities. The real issue is ensuring that the community is driving the identification of the issues and the solutions of the same in their own territory, in their own voices and with their rightful representatives representing the interests of the Nation.

    In order to address this concern, I request that you immediately:

    1. Begin discussion with Chief Ominayak and the traditional government of the Lubicon Lake Nation;
    2. Acknowledge the customs, traditions and laws of the Lubicon Lake Nation; and
    3. Make a public commitment to honouring your government’s obligations to the people of the Lubicon Lake Nation, the content of which are to be addressed through the authority they have placed in the protection of Chief Ominayak and the Lubicon Lake Nation.

    Thank you for your time and consideration.

    Sincerely, 

     

    Cc:

    Mr. George Arcand Jr. - Regional Director General
    george.arcand@ainc-inac.gc.ca
    Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
    630 Canada Place, 9700 Jasper Avenue
    Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4G2
    Telephone: 780-495-2835
    Fax: 780-495-4354

     

    Cc:

    The Honourable Bernard Valcourt. - Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
    bernard.valcourt@parl.gc.ca
    Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

     

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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.