International Boycott of Daishowa, in Support of Lubicon Cree

The following article appeared in the Fall 1996 issue of On Indian Land and is reproduced with permission of its publisher, the Seattle-based group Support for Native Sovereignty, at tel/fax (206) 525-5086.


If you have been reading On Indian Land for at least the last year, you should be acquainted with the intense struggle of the Lubicon Lake Cree Nation of northern Alberta, Canada and the boycott against Daishowa.

Although the Lubicon Cree have no treaty with the Canadian government and have never ceded their land, the Alberta provincial government has sold logging rights to their unceded territory to Daishowa.

The paper products company was asked to wait for a land claim settlement agreement to be completed between the Lubicon and the Canadian government before logging. Daishowa began logging anyway, but halted their operation shortly after the initiation of the boycott in 1991.

While a number of people across Canada and around the world responded to the Lubicon call for a boycott of Daishowa paper products, the main organized effort was undertaken by a Toronto, Ontario-based Lubicon support group, Toronto Friends of the Lubicon. Because Daishowa doesn't market its paper products directly to the public, but rather to other corporations, the Toronto Friends of the Lubicon targeted companies using Daishowa products.

Primarily as a result of their efforts 47 companies representing over 4300 retail outlets have joined the boycott in Canada and Daishowa reports a $5 million loss due to the boycott. So far pressure generated by the boycott has kept Daishowa at bay and no further logging of Lubicon land has taken place...yet.

Instead of making a clear, public and unequivocal commitment not to cut or buy wood cut on Lubicon land until the land rights dispute is resolved, Daishowa challenged the boycott in the provincial courts of Ontario and eventually won an injunction against the boycott. According to Friends attorney Karen Wristen of the Sierra Legal Defence Fund, "The court has said essentially that the intention to cause economic harm made this boycott illegal." Daishowa is engaging in a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the Friends of the Lubicon for their losses.

Daishowa Boycott Picks Up In Washington

With the Friends of the Lubicon's hands tied and democratic consumer rights squashed by the (courts of the Ontario) provincial government, Daishowa is free to take Lubicon trees without objection from their Canadian critics. Instead of containing the boycott within Canadian borders, this decision has forced the boycott into the international consumer market.

Since consumer pressure in the form of a boycott is the only tactic that has kept Daishowa out of Lubicon territory, escalating the boycott is the only way to save Lubicon trees. As a consumer public, we need to educate ourselves about the products we use and understand that our conveniences are often at the expense of indigenous exploitation.

Daishowa has a mill at Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State, and a corporate office in Seattle, Washington. Products of the Port Angeles mill include pulp and ground wood specialty papers. The Washington Post is printed on Daishowa paper, the New York Post was cited as being printed on Daishowa paper and probably continues to be. Gannett Publishing was also cited as a Daishowa buyer and is most likely still a Daishowa customer. They publish 83 newspapers including U.S.A. Today.

Most recently, GTE and U.S. West telephone directories have confirmed as being printed on Daishowa paper. These directories claim to be at least 25% to 40% recycled paper. The Port Angeles Daishowa mill in Washington recycles old directories and sells back the paper to GTE and U.S. West. This might not seem so bad, but the fact remains that this is still Daishowa, a forest industry conglomerate. There are plenty of alternatives for 100% recycled paper and non-wood paper. (sic)

Pressure on these companies and help identifying other Daishowa customers is greatly needed. Write to these companies and voice your objection to their use of Daishowa paper:

Jamie Loa
GTE Directories
1115 S. Boyal Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90023
Phone: (213) 265-6809

Jim Pierce
Director of Printing, Distribution, Recycling
U.S. West Direct
198 Inverness Dr. W.
Inglewood, CO 80112
Phone: (303) 784-2584

Write Daishowa and let them know you are supporting the international boycott of Daishowa.
Daishowa America
7200 Columbia Center
701 5th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: (206) 623-1772 or (800) 331-6314
Fax: (206)452-6576

Shogo Nakano
President, Daishowa Paper Manufacturing Co. Ltd.
Tokyo Head Office
6-1 Asahi Tokai Building
Otemachi 2-chome, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo, Japan

Tom Hamaoka
Executive Vice President, Daishowa-Marubeni International
Suite 1700, 1095 West Pender Street
Vancouver, B.C.
V6E 2M6 Canada

Always send copies of correspondence that you send and receive to the Lubicon Lake Indian Nation, P.O. Box 6731 Peace River, AB, T8S 1S5 Canada.

For more information, a Daishowa boycott packet, or to help with the Daishowa boycott, contact:

Dan Clarke
5317-46th Ave S.
Seattle, WA 98118
Phone: (206) 723-4703
Fax (206) 525-5086

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