Amitié Lubicons-Québec pamphlet


Join the Amitié Lubicons-Québec campaign

The governments of Alberta and Canada have been impeding a just and equitable land settlement with the Lubicon Lake Cree for too long!

In 1988, the Alberta government granted logging rights to 29,000 square km of northern Alberta's boreal forest to the Japanese multinational Daishowa. This area included the entire traditional territory of the Lubicon Lake Cree Nation.

Already coping with the devastating side effects of oil exploration underway on their land since the end of the 1970s, the Lubicon Lake Cree had reason to fear the impact of a highly modernized and generously subsidized lumber industry. In fact, clear-cutting carried out today in order to produce 1,200 metric tons of dehydrated pulp daily at Daishowa-Marubeni's Peace River mill directly threatens Cree territory, their means of subsistence and social integrity.

On November 28, 1991 the Friends of the Lubicon in Ontario, heeding the Cree's call, launched a campaign in that province with one very precise objective in mind: Daishowa was asked to make a public and unequivocal commitment neither to cut nor buy trees cut on Lubicon land until a land rights agreement had been reached between the Lubicon Lake Cree and the governments of Canada and Alberta. The multinational corporation refused to make such a commitment and the Friends of the Lubicon decided to raise the issue with the company's customers by asking them to boycott Daishowa forest products.

Within four years, over 60 national and international organizations expressed solidarity with the Lubicon by endorsing the Friends of the Lubicon's boycott, and by January 1995, 47 companies representing 4,300 retailers had chosen to stop using Daishowa products. Since the campaign began in Ontario, neither Daishowa nor its subcontractors have cut a single tree on Lubicon land.

In January 1995, Daishowa sued three Friends of the Lubicon -- Ed Bianchi, Kevin Thomas and Stephen Kenda -- in an Ontario court alleging, among other things, damages and losses incurred by the boycott totaling over $8 million. On January 23, 1996, the Ontario Court of Appeals granted Daishowa an interlocutory injunction against the Friends of the Lubicon and their boycott campaign. Although this case will not be heard in court until September 1997, anyone in Ontario involved in Lubicon solidarity work and calling for a boycott of Daishowa forest products could face contempt of court charges.

On November 28, 1996, five years to the day after the Friends of the Lubicon launched their boycott campaign in Ontario, more than forty activists representing twenty-five Québec social justice, environmental and solidarity organizations held a meeting in Montreal with the aim of organizing support to the Lubicon Lake Cree. At a second meeting, on December 19, the represented organizations decided to initiate a public information campaign in Québec on Lubicon Lake Cree rights and on our collective right to Freedom of Speech which is presently under attack in Ontario.

In Québec, our efforts are now known as the Amitié Lubicons-Québec campaign and we invite your group or organization to fill out the attached endorsement form and to publicly support this latest grassroots initiative.

"We live in a rich area of this country. Oil and gas companies have taken close to $9 billion from our land since 1980 while many children in my community go to sleep with empty stomachs. This situation is unacceptable. Our struggle will continue as long as there is one Lubicon left standing on our land. The governments have to understand that we won't disappear [...] .

The Friends of the Lubicon successfully started a boycott campaign in Ontario against a corporation that has the nerve to destroy our forests and then use the courts to gag those who are trying to stop them. You've got to understand that this struggle is also your struggle [...] .

This situation dates back to 1939. I don't want to see it last another 57 years. It's our responsibility as parents and grand-parents to provide the best possible future for our children.

Alone, we can't succeed, but I have good news to bring back to my people. The support you people in Qué are giving my community encourages us very much and we are grateful for it.

- Reinie Jobin of the Lubicon Lake Cree Elder's Council

The Oil and Gas Industry and the Lubicon Lake Cree

In 1978, Alberta pushed the first all-weather road into Lubicon territory. From 1979 to 1983, oil and gas companies drilled more than 400 wells within a 25 km radius of Little Buffalo, the community where the Lubicon Lake Cree live. Since 1980, the wells have generated $500 million in annual revenue for the Alberta government (which takes 20% in royalties) and for corporations like Norcen, Nova, Husky, Shell, Petro-Canada and UNOCAL. In the meantime, the Cree have reaped a poisoned harvest of tuberculosis, other respiratory and skin illnesses, cancer of all sorts, still births and birth defects.

Oil exploitation practically wiped out the traditional Cree economy in less than 15 years. Welfare dependency has skyrocketed from 10% in 1981 to 95% today. Canada and Alberta have maintained that the Lubicon Lake Cree no longer practice their traditional way of life and therefore cannot claim ancestral rights to land they no longer use to make a living. According to Lubicon elder Reinie Jobin, Daishowa's proposed logging practices on Lubicon territory will bring about "the final destruction of our community".

Lawsuits Against Public Participation

Increasingly, courts are being used in order to limit public participation on issues which the public considers too important to be left in the hands of a few developers or multinationals whose interests are often opposed to the common good. Since the 1970s, such legal proceedings have been known in the United States as SLAPP suits or Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation. In Canada and in Québec, lawyers and developers, private firms, Daishowa and other important logging companies like MacMillan Bloedel Inc. happily use SLAPP suits to siphon away valuable time, human and financial resources from citizen's organizations and individuals who, like the Friends of the Lubicon in Ontario, have dared to voice their opinions and findings in a so-called democratic society.

All groups or individuals wishing to participate in the Amitié Lubicons-Québec campaign, please contact:

Amitié Lubicons Québec
C.P. 854, Kanesatake, Mohawk Territory
via Québec, J0N 1E0
Tel: (514) 844-0484
Fax: (514) 844-0113

Endorsement form

Name of organization:

Contact person:



Postal code:

Phone number:

Fax number:


__ We would like to adhere to and endorse your campaign.

__ We would like to take part in your organizational meetings.

__ We would like to take part occasionally and be notified of
   your activities.

__ We would like more information.

__ Here is our contribution of $________
Please return to:
Amitié Lubicons Québec
C.P. 854, Kanehsatake, Mohawk Territory
via Québec, J0N 1E0
Tel: (514) 844-0484
Fax: (514) 844-0113

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