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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Turtle Island/December 23, 2013) - Idle No More and Defenders of the Land networks condemn the December 16, 2013, court judgment granting an injunction to Penn West Petroleum Ltd (Penn West) to remove Lubicon Lake Nation Land Protectors from protecting their land against fracking. The Lubicon Lake Nation were in a Calgary court December 16, 2013, on an injunction hearing that would determine the fate of their land protection camp initiated for operation Frack OFF. In their application, Penn West applied for a 7 day short term order under the Public Lands Act and was granted 6 month injunctive relief. The judge did not even take the time to hear evidence from the Lubicon Lake Nation on a matter that affects their future and livelihood. It’s a sad day for those who have braved cold winter conditions for weeks to protect their lands and waters from environmental devastation.
The Lubicon Lake Nation have never entered into Treaty or ceded any of their lands and therefore have never surrendered their sovereignty to exercise their Aboriginal and inherent rights on their lands. The outcome of the December 16, 2013, court decision sends the message to those defending the lands from corporate invasion that the law will not be on their side; even though Aboriginal rights are entrenched into the constitution. The blatant denial of Lubicon Lake Nation’s rights indicate that the governments of Alberta and Canada along with corporations who collaborate with them have no respect for Aboriginal rights that are entrenched within the constitution. The Lubicon Lake Nation have said the injunction decision will not stop them from protecting their lands and they will move forward with an appeal.
Sylvia McAdam, on organizer from IdleNoMore says “We are deeply disappointed with the decision of the Alberta court today to favor actions of companies that promote environmental destruction on Indigenous lands. We strongly condemn the actions of companies and extractive industry that deny and disregard the rights of Indigenous Peoples, like the Lubicon Lake Nation who are defending their lands for their children and grandchildren.”
“The world is watching and supporting the Indigenous Peoples who are defending their lands. By ignoring the constitutional arguments of the Lubicon Lake Nation in making his decision the judge brings the Alberta judicial system into disrepute, which isn’t surprising when you look at the track record of the Alberta government and the energy corporations ignoring the rights of the Indigenous Peoples.” said Russ Diabo, from the Defenders of the Land.
For more information contact:
Sylvia McAdam, Idle No More: Cell: (306) 281-8158
Russell Diabo, Defenders of the Land: Cell: (613) 296-0110
Idle No More and Defenders of the Land are networks of Indigenous Peoples/Communities and Canadians who are committed to protecting the environment, waters and lands while promoting the sovereignty and rights of Indigenous Peoples and Nations.