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Mon Jun 10, 2013, 05:32 PM

Lubicon Lake Nation Files Aggressive 700 Million Dollar Lawsuit Against Canada

BriefingWire.com, 6/10/2013 - Little Buffalo, AB/ The Lubicon Lake Nation is a sovereign nation of Crees, located in what is now Northern Alberta, who have never signed treaty with the British or Canadian government. The Government of the Lubicon Lake Nation, following a May 30, 2013 General Election, remain led unanimously by long-time Chief Bernard Ominayak. On June 7, 2013, the Lubicon Lake Nation filed a second historic lawsuit against the Governments of Canada and Alberta.

The detailed statement of claim was filed by renowned aboriginal rights lawyer James O'Reilly, who was instrumental in the James Bay Northern Quebec Agreement and has also worked with the Lubicon for over 30 years. The statement outlines various violations by Canada and Alberta including: failure to properly enter into Treaty with the Lubicon as required by the Constitution; illegal interference with Lubicon self-government and self-determination; and the illegal issuance of oil and gas licences on Lubicon lands to resource companies by the Government of Alberta.

Communications Coordinator, Garrett Tomlinson explained to reporters this morning that the Lubicon would prefer Canada enter into good faith negotiations to settle the outstanding issues. However, based on the Conservative government's clear unwillingness to negotiate, the Lubicon have had to turn to the court. In remedy for the noted violations, the Lubicon ask that the court order an immediate injunction to stop all oil and gas development on Lubicon lands occurring without their express consent. Further, the Lubicon are demanding 700 million in damages to be paid jointly by Canada and Alberta to the Lubicon Lake Nation as small fraction of the estimated 13.5 billion in oil and gas revenues generated from their lands. It is expected that Canada and Alberta will be served today and will have 20 days to respond to the court action.

Councillor Bryan Laboucan who was also re-elected on May 30 said: "This is just the beginning. If Canada and Alberta continue to be unreasonable and refuse to negotiate, we will exercise every option to force this issue forward for the betterment of Lubicon people. We have waited long enough."

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