The Lubicon Lake Indian Nation in Alberta wants outgoing Prime Minister Jean Chretien to keep his word. Before Chretien became Prime Minister in 1993, he wrote to the Friends of the Lubicon expressing his support for a settlement of Lubicon land rights. He wrote that “time is wasting” and that it was “time for action,” and that he ”consider[ed] the Lubicon claim to be a priority.” The Lubicon note that nine years have passed since that time and there is still no settlement of land rights.
“It’s our hope that Prime Minister Chretien will fulfill his promise before leaving office,” said the Friends of the Lubicon support group in a press communique. “A settlement is certainly possible within that time: the issues are well defined and the relevant technical work has basically been done. What seems to be missing is the drive to conclude a fair settlement. With Mr. Chretien’s personal involvement, direction and willpower Lubicon land rights could, at long last, be resolved.” The Friends of the Lubicon wrote to Prime Minister Chretien recently reminding him of his long-standing promise to resolve Lubicon land rights and asking that, before he leaves office, he fulfill that promise. The Friends also wrote to Paul Martin, Sheila Copps, John Manley and Allan Rock, asking that, as potential successors to Chretien, they commit to concluding a just settlement of Lubicon land rights should the job remain unfinished by the time Chretien leaves office.
The group notes that Prime Minister Chretien is looking to leave behind a proud legacy when he finishes his many years of public service. To fulfill the promise of a fair Lubicon settlement after so many years would be a tangible legacy, they say, one that would win acclaim from not only Canadians but from the many people around the world who have expressed concern over this long-standing human rights tragedy.