Territoire Mohawk, Quebec
Dear Mr. Drouin:
This is in regard to your letter addressed to Mr. Tom Hamaoka, dated January 23, 1997, expressing your concerns about the Lubicon Lake Indian Band.
Daishowa Marubeni International Ltd. (DMI) has been unique in having demonstrated its goodwill to the Lubicon people by voluntarily refraining from harvesting in the Lubicon area of concern, while several other companies have continued with their activities. In fact, many other commercial activities, such as oil and gas exploration and drilling, and logging by various sawmill operators has been underway in the area claimed by the Lubicons for many decades. In some cases, these activities have been supported by the Lubicon people and have included economic benefits for them such as direct employment.
To be clear, DMI is not logging in the Lubicon area of concern and has no plans to initiate logging in the area of concern in the near future. In addition, a future Lubicon reserve area of 246 square kilometres has always been set aside and has never been a part of DMI's forest management area. This reserve area was negotiated between the Lubicons and the Alberta government in 1988, prior to DMI's investment.
It is unfortunate for employees and their families when boycotts are initiated on the basis of false propaganda. A boycott targeted against a company that is demonstrating such sensitivity to the Lubicons is unwarranted and unfair. It is even more unfortunate when the employees of companies such as Daishowa Inc. or Daishowa America, whose operations do not incorporate Alberta wood products, are targeted as well.
DMI has waited patiently for seven years now, but we cannot make an indefinite commitment as this would jeopardize the livelihood of the many thousands of people and their families who depend on our operations, including many aboriginal people and former members of the Lubicon Band. Unfortunately, the remaining Lubicons have rejected all Canadian Government land claim settlement offers to date and it is unknown when or if a resolution can be found that will satisfy their financial requirements. However, we are encouraged by reports that negotiations are progressing between the Canadian Government and the Lubicons.
You can be assured that DMI is concerned about the welfare of the Lubicon people and we believe we have acted responsibly in helping to facilitate dialogue between the principals to the land claim dispute. We hope you will join Daishowa-Marubeni by encouraging the parties directly involved in this land claim dispute to settle their differences as expeditiously as possible.
DAISHOWA-MARUBENI INTERNATIONAL LTD.
James P. Morrison
General Manager, Edmonton Office