The Northern Journal reports, “(In Alberta), the traditional chief and council of Lubicon Lake Cree Nation along with approximately 20 members began peacefully blockading an access road (on their territory) to a Penn West Petroleum Ltd. site (to be used for fracking) after they discovered the company bringing equipment and workers into the area without notice. …The decision to block the road was made after Penn West representatives met with Lubicon chief, council, elders and citizens on Nov. 25, but refused to cease their operations.”
Photo: Lubicon blockade camp with fire, Nov 29, 2013.
“The community is concerned about the impacts of fracking on their water. The Penn West site sits near two bodies of water, Haig Lake and Sawn Lake, which are the community’s main source of fish.”
“Members of the Peace River RCMP detachment visited the blockade site three times on Wednesday (Nov. 27), once with Richard Goy from Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD), who delivered an order to remove protesters from the road under the Public Lands Act. …(But) Chief Bernard Ominayak said the Lubicon Nation has never ceded its lands nor signed a treaty with the Crown, and therefore remains sole title holder to its land and resources.”
“The federally-recognized chief (Billy Joe Laboucan) and council established through the Indian Act in February 2013 are rejecting the acts of what they say is ‘a dissident group of Lubicon members’ that are not supported by the democratically elected government. …(But his council is viewed by others as a) ‘puppet council’ put in place by the Alberta and federal governments to ‘divide and conquer’, and open the door to development on their resource-rich territory.”