Canada and Lubicon Lake Band Take a Major Step Forward with Signing of Negotiation Framework

On December 1st  an important step forward was made between Canada and Lubicon Lake Band. Leaders sat down in Ottawa and signed a Negotiation Framework which is the first step on the path to settling land claim negotiations for Lubicon Lake Band, who is the last of the Treaty 8 isolated communities that were missed by the Treaty Commissioners at the time of Treaty making over 100 years ago. 

 The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, Chief Billy Joe Laboucan, councilors of the Lubicon Lake Band, and MP Chris Warkentin aim to set out processes for addressing the three priority issues in a concurrent fashion with the Negotiation Framework. Their Framework will bring clarity and mutual agreement between the federal and Lubicon negotiators on the nature of the work ahead of them.

 The three main priorities that were identified in the Negotiation Framework by Lubicon are: 

  • the establishment of a reserve pursuant to Treaty
  • community construction on the future reserve lands
  • resolution of Lubicon’s claims to other treaty-related benefits
Our Government remains committed to enabling First Nations to take advantage of the economic prosperity this country has to offer. The Negotiation Framework signing brings us one step closer to our goal, of moving forward together, in the spirit of reconciliation, with shared priorities that will ensure that long-term benefits flow as quickly as possible to Lubicon members leading to improved living conditions and increased well-being.
— Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
We are now hopeful and excited that we will conclude this 80-year-old claim. Our people have waited a long time. The signing of this agreement today not only confirms the productive progress we’ve made in the past several months but outlines the work needed to finally resolve our claim.
— Chief Billy Joe Laboucan, Lubicon Lake Band
I am pleased to see this important progress toward settling a long-standing negotiation with Lubicon Lake Band. In partnership we can continue to seize opportunities that promote prosperity and economic development for the benefit of all Canadians.
— Chris Warkentin, Member of Parliament for Peace River