The Lubicon Nation is an Aboriginal Nation of approximately 500 people living in northern Alberta are have never surrendered their rights to their traditional lands. They were overlooked when a treaty was negotiated with other Aboriginal peoples in the region in 1899.It is sad to say that an incomplete bureaucratic process has resulted in certain First Nation tribes being left out of the Alberta government’s Treaty 8 that would have legally recognized their rights to land and territories.
The initial problem was that the Provincial government was not thorough enough to make sure that all native tribes were included in the signing of the treaty. This can be considered as not fulfilling their undertakings. Furthermore, the fact that it was documented and acknowledged that not all tribes were not included in the treaty due to bureaucratic incompetency is astonishing. This lack of action could indicate a lackadaisical approach to the treaty and the rights of the First Nations people. One reason for the laidback approach could due to the fact that the Lubicon lake people were distant from western settlements during that time and may have thought to be of no impact in government policy makings during that time. The Lubicon people themselves were only too happy to be left alone and they may have actually welcomed the lack of intrusion from the government of Alberta. Thus, it can be said that the lack of importance placed in getting all first nations tribes to sign the treaty and the lack of governance of this procedure from the provincial and the federal government certainly alludes to the fact that the governments at the provincial level and at the federal level certainly have to bear a large share of the blame in this case and to a lesser extent the Lubicon tribe leaders as well for not taking proper initiatives in the first place.
However, with the start of the 21st century, fearing that the traditional way of life will be negatively affected and that they might lose their land, the Lubicon people had applied to the government for a land settlement and thereafter their petition was approved by two visiting government officials. However, the writer of the article seems to have not quoted any clear evidentiary articles or notes or any form of written confirmation of this incident. The only source that the writer quotes is from the Lubicon Lake people themselves. Furthermore the writer claims that the Lubicon Lake band was using the premises of the treaty 8 to claim their portion and size of their land. This again becomes controversial as they were not included in the original treaty. This again could be bureaucratic incompetency or lack of interest to remedy an urgent wrongful situation.
Moreover, it is disturbing to know that the ambiguity of the Indian Act of 1876 led to a very liberal interpretation of First Nation rights and that first nation people were disadvantaged due to this Act. In fact, the writer claims that the ‘legalistic approach towards defining a group of people as Indians could reach absurd proportions’1 in the court of laws. The example given where half of the children born to a couple were considered Indians and the other six children that were born to the same couple were not considered Indians indicates the level of absurdity and the inadequacy of the Indian Act of 1897 to define or establish one as a First Nation. These again affected the Lubicon people as some were taken off the list and thus their rights as First nations were not recognized and this diminished the land and treaty rights of the tribe as a whole. In this case, the government again has to take responsibility and bare the blame entirely for these problems. However, it must be noted that government was very focused on the wars in Europe and therefore First nation rights may not have seemed as pressing as the need to win the war in Europe. But it certainly is not an excuse in the way the issues were…