LAND CLAIM TIMELINE
There is a long and complicated history between the Lubicon Lake Band and its battle to have its land claims settled. Here are some of those key moments:
1899: Treaty 8 is signed between the Crown and First Nations in the Lesser Slave Lake area, saying each treaty member is entitled to 52 hectares of land. But the deal does not include members of the Lubicon Lake Cree Nation, who were missed by federal agents.
1933: Lubicon members initiate a land claim.
1939-40: Indian Affairs officials visit the northeast Alberta area that is home to the Lubicon and recognize the Lubicon as a distinct band, promising a reserve.
1979-1982: The Lubicon count more than 400 oil and gas wells drilled within a 25-kilometre radius of the hamlet of Little Buffalo, according to an Edmonton Journal story published in 1988.
1988: Lubicon band mounts a protest campaign during Calgary’s 1988 Winter Olympics, drawing attention to the longsimmering dispute. The band rejects an offer from the province and federal government to give the band an “interim” reserve of 66 square kilometres until the dispute is resolved.
October 1988: Lubicon members put up blockades on gravel roads into 10,000 square kilometres of northern Alberta woods, standing in the way of oil well drillers, pipeline builders and seismic crews and say crews wanting to work there must purchase permits from the band. The First Nation becomes a symbol for Canadian Indigenous groups seeking self-determination during its five-day protest. The blockades are dismantled after arrests by the RCMP.
October 2014: Progressive Conservative Premier Jim Prentice visits Lubicon Lake Band and helps the community launch a land claim. He was the first sitting premier in nearly two decades to visit Indigenous communities in northern Alberta.
October 2018: Lubicon members approve a settlement with federal and provincial governments in a community vote that took place from Sept. 14 to Oct. 15. The agreement includes $121 million in federal and provincial funding and 246 square kilometres of land near Little Buffalo.