Toronto - Warning of the potential for serious conflict, a Canadian church group has called for the government of Canada to enter into negotiations with the Lubicon Indian Band, using the services of Davie Fulton, the former Minister of Justice, as Mediator. The Lubicon Band has been involved in a dispute about land claims for most of this century, with no resolution.
The Program Committee of the Anglican Church of Canada, meeting here today, has endorsed a resolution of the House of Commons standing committee on aboriginal affairs and northern development, which proposed the mediation. The Reverend Peter Hamel, the Anglican Church's staff person related to national affairs, participated in the Standing Committee's meeting.
"Unless there is a dramatic intervention by the Canadian government to reach a just and equitable settlement within the next three to four weeks, there is a real danger that a serious confrontation will take place at Little Buffalo Lake," Hamel warns. "The frustration is so high now because of the stonewalling that has gone on for so long."
In a letter to the Prime Minister, the church says it has "consistently supported the struggle of the Lubicon people to achieve a just settlement of their aboriginal claim. In March of 1984, for example, the former Primate, Archbishop Ted Scott, participated with the Right Reverend Gary Woolsey, Bishop of Athabasca, in an ecumenical fact-finding mission to the Lubicon community."
"On February 9, the Hon. E. Davie Fulton, testifying before the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs, stated that the conflicts between the Band and the Federal Government could be resolved within six months. We believe that the appointment of Mr. Fulton could be a key factor in resolving this longstanding human rights issue."
In other actions, the group moved to support the efforts of the National Association of Japanese Canadians in their efforts to seek compensation for the seizure of their property during the Second World War.
The NAJC has launched a national coalition redress campaign to focus renewed public attention on its demands, after talks with the government broke down in July.
In considering the request for support, the church's program committee reviewed its history of concern. A resolution adopted in 1947 urged the government to restore all rights to (Japanese) Canadian citizens or legal residents, "and in particular urges the government to take all steps possible to see that full compensation be made to those who, by reason of earlier governmental action, had their properties appropriated and sold, or who have otherwise suffered crippling financial loss by their removal and resettlement."
Earlier resolutions, during and immediately after the War, consistently supported the Japanese Canadians and deplored the removal of their civil rights. Today, 40 years later, the church reaffirms its stand.
Includes bibliographical references (p.-223) and index.
"The Lubicon Cree of northern Alberta attracted international attention in 1988 with their call to boycott the Winter Olympic Games at Calgary and their six-day takeover of a giant oil field, Their simple goal has been to secure the reserve they were promised in 1940 and to build an alternative to a once-thriving bush economy destroyed in the rush for oil and gas. But despite widespread support for the Lubicon cause, first the provincial government of Peter Lougheed and now the federal government of Brian Mulroney have put one obstacle after another in the way of a negotiated settlement. .... With insight, drama and an eye for detail, writer John Goddard presents the Lubicon Cree story in a way that illuminates the current national crisis in native affairs and points the way to solutions". -- inside front dust jacket.
Contents: Preface -- To Live and Do Well -- Good Big Chief -- Brutally Reduced to Silence -- Marten River -- The Only Good Indian -- Picking Up the Pieces -- Our White Man -- The Master Strategy -- Genocidal Consequences -- Trusting the Law -- Special Envoy -- A New Focus -- Boycott -- The Premier Takes Charge -- Lubicon Lake Nation -- Take It or Leave It -- The Woodland Cree -- Sources and Acknowledgements -- Bibliography -- Index.
Bishop Woolsey read a letter which went to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney from Archbishop Edward Scott, President of the Canadian Council of Churches, in which Archbishop Scott, on behalf of the Canadian Council of Churches, urged the immediate implementation of the resolution passed on February 9th by the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development calling on the Government of Canada to initiate bilateral negotiations with the Lubicon Lake Indian Band over the next six months and to appoint the Hon. E. Davie Fulton as mediator in a determined effort to seek a just settlement on this long, outstanding land claims dispute.
That this House request the Primate to write a letter to the Prime Minister urging him to implement the resolution passed on 9 February, 1988 by the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development calling on the Government of Canada to initiate bilateral negotiations with the Lubicon Lake Indian Band over the next six months, and to appoint the Hon. E. Davie Fulton as Mediator in a determined effort to see a just settlement on this long outstanding land claims dispute. CARRIED
Report on the Blackfoot Tribes to the Committee appointed for the purpose of investigation and publishing reports on the physical characters, languages and industrial and social condition of the North-Western Tribes of the Dominion of Canada.