Premier Rachel Notley and federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett joined Chief Billy Joe Laboucan and community members in Little Buffalo to celebrate a historic land claim and treaty benefits settlement signed in late October.
The settlement includes more than 246 square kilometres (95 square miles) of land and $18 million in financial compensation from Alberta and $95 million from Canada, as well as the development of community infrastructure.
“It took generations to get to this day, when a major historic wrong can be made right and the families of Lubicon Lake Band can begin building a better future on their own land. This agreement shows how resilient and strong this community already is. We look forward to forging an even stronger relationship built on respect, cooperation and meaningful reconciliation.”
“It is a huge accomplishment in being able to sign the final agreement with Canada and Alberta, and a time for celebration among the people of Lubicon, as it is a very significant milestone. However, the next major step is being able to build very much-needed infrastructure such as warm and secure homes for children and an elders’ lodge, a state-of-the-art school building and recreation centre, as well as an administration and health centre. Thus, the next major step is building the infrastructure and providing a good, secure economic future. That would mean careers and businesses in the oil industry, forestry and service industry.”
“It is truly an honour to be able to celebrate this historic achievement with the Lubicon Lake Band on their territory as we take this major step in our shared journey of healing and reconciliation. Chief Billy Joe Laboucan has ensured that this settlement will not only deliver on treaty promises, but importantly will improve community well-being and have a profoundly positive impact on the lives of Lubicon Lake Band members for many generations to come.”
The settlement addresses an outstanding treaty claim dating back to 1899. Because of their remote location, the members of the Lubicon Lake Band were missed by treaty commissioners and were never allocated a reserve or all the benefits of signing.
All parties will continue to work together to implement the settlement and collaborate and plan the infrastructure projects and the community enhancement process which is set to begin in the coming weeks.
The development of a new community will include essential infrastructure, including residential housing, all-season roads and electrical and communications systems, as well as water and waste management and an administrative building.
- The negotiated settlement was approved by Lubicon Lake Band members in a community vote, with final agreements signed by the parties on Oct. 24, 2018.
- Community infrastructure will include housing, all-season roads, telephone and internet cabling, water and wastewater services, solid waste management, public works and administration building and yard, a school and a multi-purpose community building.