Call for Solidarity!
The Lubicon Lake Indian Nation is a Cree Nation in Northern Alberta, Canada. They are commonly referred to as the Lubicon Cree. The Lubicon people have never ceded control over their traditional territory to any other government. The Nation has been embroiled with the Government of Canada regarding disputed land claims for decades. In the last thirty years, oil and gas development on or near their land has dangerously threatened their way of life, their culture, and the health of those in the community of Little Buffalo. The province of Alberta issues out the oil leases and says the land dispute is a federal jurisdiction. The Lubicon have not received one penny of the estimated 15 billion CDN in revenues from THEIR land. Instead they have received a ruined economy with no viable replacement. Please take the action below in this struggle for justice and support the Lubicon Cree in their fight for self-determination over their land and culture!
If you are interested in organizing in your school or community to demand self-determination for the Lubicon you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a solidarity toolkit.
Also check out www.lubicon.org
And the Facebook group Support the Lubicon
What is the Action about?
This is an action against TransCanada Pipelines - the major multinational pipeline company that is trying to build a pipeline across unceded Lubicon land despite the United Nations explicitly calling on Canada to stop violation of Lubicon rights (see www.lubicon.org for more information). More importantly, the Lubicon themselves have not given permission for the construction of this pipeline.
What is SAM?
Each year a group of investment analysts (called SAM analysts) develop a list of corporations that meet "sustainability criteria" and track their financial performance in something called the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
"Sustainability" is a buzzword in business right now. SAM analysts call "sustainability" a "business approach that creates long-term shareholder value by embracing opportunities and managing risks deriving from economic, environmental and social developments." Basically businesses use the word "sustainability" to make money.. after all, what else would you expect from business?!
The problem is: TransCanada is on the Sustainability Index. And TransCanada is proud of it. TransCanada says that: "Being named a member of the DJSI validates our efforts, at all levels of the company, to do the right thing by our stakeholders."
Now here's the thing: TransCanada stakeholders do not only include shareholders and customers, it would also include the Lubicon. The Lubicon whose rights are being violated, whose unceded traditional lands are being destroyed, on whose behalf the UN and Amnesty International have repeatedly condemned Canada.
Sooooo: WE WANT TRANSCANADA OFF THAT INDEX!!
And we're in luck - the composition of the Index is up for review right now. Results will be released in September so we need to move quickly and flood SAM analysts with letters regarding TransCanada immediately!
SAM analysts say they identify and review issues INCLUDING human rights abuses (e.g. cases involving discrimination, forced resettlements, discrimination of indigenous people). SAM analysts say that they look at media coverage of such issues. SAM analysts say they compare company policy with company management. SAM analysts say they do all these things, but do they really? Why not ask them!
Your Role: Email SAM analysts. Ask them how their assessing TransCanada's "management" of the Lubicon crisis. Choose to include SOME of the points from the following:
- are SAM analysts aware of the 1990, 2005 United Nations decisions regarding Canada's treatment of the Lubicon Lake Indian Nation?
- TransCanada has repeatedly made false public claims regarding Lubicon concerns (including the statement that there have been no objections from First Nations prior to their application to the AUC for approval)
- TransCanada ignored concerns of its shareholders as written in letters and as presented at shareholder meetings (Shareholder Annual General Meeting was in Calgary, April 25 2008)
- the UN Special Rapporteur's 2007 description of life in the Lubicon community:
"… we visited the Lubicon Territory because the UN has been following that case for some time…. We met with the chief and elders and saw their homes -- in all the homes, there is no potable drinking water available, and the sanitation is very poor…. We toured the area where the oil exploration is going on. We were very concerned about the Lubicon people.... They are being actively pushed out, lands are being taken away, and the area is being polluted. We will certainly take their situation up as a violation of their rights." (you can quote any of this - it's from Miloon Kothari - UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing)
- are SAM analysts aware of the media attention around the Lubicon in Canada and around the world?
- are SAM analysts aware of Amnesty International's growing work around the Lubicon Cree?
- let them know that abusing human rights is not sustainable business practice
- do they realize that TransCanada is risking a dangerous confrontation by building a pipeline across unceded Lubicon land without Lubicon concent?
- how is TransCanada following its own policy with respect to the Lubicon?
(TransCanada Policy is: "TransCanada respects the diversity of Aboriginal cultures, recognizes the importance of the land and cultivates relationships based on trust and respect;
TransCanada works together with Aboriginal communities to identify impacts of company activities on the community's values and needs in order to find mutually acceptable solutions and benefits; TransCanada respects the legal and Constitutional rights of Aboriginal peoples and recognizes that its relationships with Aboriginal peoples are separate and different from that of the Crown.")
** remember to put the concerns you are addressing in your own words to show the SAM analysts that many different people are concerned.
Here's what to address in your email:
CC: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, (Ed Stelmach, Premier of Alberta), firstname.lastname@example.org (Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada)
thank you and in solidarity,
Friends of the Lubicon Alberta