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Friends of the Lubicon

PO BOX 444 STN D, ETOBICOKE ON M9A 4X4, Canada
T: 416-763-7500 --- fol (at) tao (dot) ca

Please Note: New mailing address above as of December 12, 2000

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Nov 1/95, Letter from Chief Ominayak

 


Mandate

Friends of the Lubicon (Toronto) is a volunteer, non-profit group with a mandate to assist the Lubicon Lake Indian Nation in their land rights' struggle.


LETTER FROM CHIEF BERNARD OMINAYAK

November 1, 1995

To Friends of the Lubicon (Toronto) Legal Team

When the Provincial government started construction of an all-weather road into our unceded territory, the Lubicon people had little experience with outsiders. Consistent with our ways, we were prepared to share what we had. While worried about what this new road might mean for our way of life, we hoped and believed that it would be possible to work out some way to co-exist with these outsiders coming into our area.

Over time we learned more about these outsiders and their ways. We learned how their governments operate, interact and overlap with large resource exploitation companies. We learned about their great wealth and power and how they use that wealth and power to deny the rights of other people. We learned about their cynical use and manipulation of their laws, courts and police to achieve their political and economic objectives. We learned about their lack of principle and their basic dishonesty in dealing with other people. And we learned about their lack of concern for conserving the plants and animals upon which the Lubicon people have historically depended for survival.

Moreover, we learned that these outsiders were not really interested in sharing but rather wanted to push us aside and take everything we have and value as a people. We learned that they were prepared to say and do anything in order to steal our valuable lands and resources. And we thankfully learned that all outsiders are not like them.

During our struggle to survive with dignity in our unceded traditional territory we've met some of the worst imaginable human beings -- and some of the best. Daishowa and their oil company and government cronies are some of the worst imaginable human beings -- covetous, unprincipled, brutal, dishonest, deceitful and prepared to say or do anything to have their own way. The Toronto Friends of the Lubicon and the legal team which defended them before Justice Kiteley are some of the best imaginable human beings -- principled, courageous, selfless, prepared to go out of their way to help others in trouble and to stand up for what's right even at considerable personal risk and cost.

Whether the Lubicon people will be able to survive the efforts of Daishowa and their oil company and government cronies to wipe us off the face of the earth so they can steal our lands and resources is still an open question. Whether the Toronto Friends of the Lubicon will in the end be able to prevent Daishowa from using Canadian law and the Canadian courts to suppress criticism of Daishowa's actions in Canada remains an open question too. Something not in question is the great gratitude which the Lubicon people feel and will always feel for the help and support which we've received from the Toronto Friends of the Lubicon and from the legal team which defended them before Justice Kiteley.

On behalf of the Lubicon people I would therefore like to officially thank the Toronto Friends of the Lubicon and the legal team which defended them for their generous, courageous and unstinting work on our behalf. Without that help and support of people like the Toronto Friends and the legal team which defended them, the Lubicon people would not have lasted as long as we have. Without the continuing help and support of people like the Toronto Friends and the legal team which defended them, there would be little hope of our surviving the on-going assault currently being conducted against us by Daishowa and their oil company and government cronies.

In gratitude and with sincere thanks,

Chief Bernard Ominayak
Lubicon Lake Indian Nation


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