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The History of the Lubicon Lake Band and the Case Against Canada - Essay Example

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The History of the Lubicon Lake Band and the Case against Canada The Lubicon lake band or Lubicon lake Cree is a minority community that inhibits areas surrounding Lake Alberta. Being a minority community proves the reason why the community has little attention from the media and other state agencies1…
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Download file to see previous pages The community claimed that the government did not consult any of their representatives during its decision2. In addition, the group claimed that gas and oil exploration projects would compromise their habitat. The Lubicon lake community currently has approximately 500 members who are the among the indigenous community that lived in Canada before the arrival of the European immigrants. Members of this community depend on hunting and trapping as their main economic activity. Conflict between the community and the Canadian government began when the government failed to consider them in 1899 treaty3. The treaty aimed at identifying and protecting territories of indigenous communities who lived in the country. Following the government decision, members of the community failed to present a systematic or legal claim to the government to claim ownership of the land. Lubicon lake community may have assumed that the government was responsible in protecting the rights of every community particularly the minority community. On the other hand, the government did not show economic interest on Lubicon band territory. The government may have ignored the incorporation of the community in the 1899 treaty in order to protect its interest in the region4. The struggle between the lake community and the nation attracted the interests of the international community in 1984. This followed a failed attempt by members of the community to achieve any political or legal settlement for their case concerning invasion of their indigenous land. The United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHCR) intervened in the case although, the community’s chiefs had previously requested for intervention from the international community. However, the Canadian government was against the decision claiming that they had not exhausted all domestic avenues that could be used to resolve such case5. After detailed investigations of the issue, the UNHCR concluded that available domestic remedies were insufficient to settle the case6. This is because the community did not have the ability to defend its interest against the country. In addition, the community was unlikely to win back their indigenous land back since Canada controlled the judicial system. In 1990, the UNHCR agreed that the state was a threat to the existence of the community by allowing invasion of their cultural land. The committee also agreed to include the Libicon community among threatened communities in order to attract the attention of the international community7. The committee also argued that the government had violated Article 27 of the international law concerning indigenous communities and indigenous territories. The Canadian government responded by increasing avenues for negotiation between the community and the government in relation to the controversial land. The government proposed resettlement of the community as the main solution to the case considering that the region was of national interest8. However, the Lubicon community declined the resettlement offers given by the government claiming that their traditions do not allow them to give up their ancestral land. Representatives of the community also argued that giving up their land would also be against the 1899 treaty. This is because the government pledged to protect the interests of indigenous community in cases involving land disputes. Community members also argued that currently the country did not have any ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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