and addressed separately to:
Mr. Koichi Kitagawa, CEOSir;
Daishowa Forest Products Ltd
Bay Wellington Tower - BCE Place
181 Bay St, PO Box 822 - suite 1540
Mr. Tom Hamaoka, Executive Vice-President
Daishowa-Marubeni International Ltd
1095 West Pender St, suite 1700
Mr. Shogo Nakano, President
Daishowa Paper Manufacturing Company Ltd.
6-1 Asahi Tokai blv, Otemachi 2-Chome
On this day, January 23, 1997, we have gathered in front of Daishowa Forest Products Ltd.'s sales office at 3100 Côte-Vertu Boulevard in Ville St-Laurent, Québec, in order to publicly express our concern regarding your company's activities in Cree territory in Alberta, and in Ontario.
On this day in 1996, your company obtained a temporary injunction before the Appeals Court of Ontario against a campaign organized by Canadian citizens in solidarity with the Lubicon Lake Cree of Alberta. The work carried out in Ontario by the Friends of the Lubicon on such an important issue as Native land rights is worthy not only of our support, but could very well serve as an example for citizens here in Québec.
Canadian and Albertan authorities have promised the Lubicon Lake Cree a just and equitable land settlement since 1939. In 1988, your company was granted cutting rights to 29,000 km2 of boreal forest in northern Alberta, including land the Lubicon had been claiming for 50 years. In November 1991, answering a call for support made by the Cree, the Friends of the Lubicon asked your company to make a public commitment to neither cut nor use any trees cut on Lubicon land until the land issue was settled between the Cree and the governments of Canada and Alberta. Why does your company still refuse to make such a commitment?
Faced with your company's refusal to respect such a just demand, we are of the opinion that the Friends of the Lubicon had no other choice than to raise the issue with your customers in Ontario. In January 1995, Daishowa Inc., a subsidiary of your company, decided to sue three individuals who are members of the Friends of the Lubicon for reasons you are well aware of. Exactly a year ago, your lawyers obtained an injunction which we hope will be overturned in a higher court because of its very negative impact on our fundamental right to Freedom of Speech.
In the meantime, it is inconceivable and entirely unacceptable to us that your company cut or use any trees cut on land that has been disputed for close to 60 years now. You are in no way an innocent third party in this matter. We are, in fact, of the opinion that the logging practices you have planned for Lubicon land hang like a sharp edge over the Cree community of Lubicon Lake.
For this reason, we ask that Daishowa Forest Products Ltd. make a firm and unequivocal commitment neither to cut nor buy trees cut on Lubicon land until a land rights agreement has been reached between the Lubicon Lake Cree and the governments of Canada and Alberta, and until your company has reached an agreement with the Cree governing its wood harvesting practices on Lubicon land.
We also ask that the lawsuit against the Friends of the Lubicon, Ed Bianchi, Kevin Thomas and Stephen Kenda be dropped. Their peaceful and highly democratic work is of great social use and is being recognized as such by a growing number of Native and non-Native people throughout Quebec and Canada. Any prolonged stubbornness on your part with regards to both of these demands will only increase the breadth of that work here and elsewhere.
We look forward to your reply and wish you all the best for the new year.
for the Amitié Lubicons-Québec campaign
cc. Lubicon Lake Cree Nation
Friends of the Lubicon (Toronto)