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Lubicon Lake Nation
Dwight Gladue
P.O.Bx 6731 Stn. Main
Peace River,AB T8S1S5

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Lubicon Lake Nation Back in Court to Defend Territory
PennWest Exploration (NYSE:PWE) Wants Immunity from Aboriginal Rights Lawsuits, 3/18/2015 - Little Buffalo, AB/ The Lubicon Lake Nation will be appearing in the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench in Peace River, Alberta tomorrow against PennWest Petroleum (NYSE:PWE). This is another action in the ongoing attempts by Chief Bernard Ominayak and the Lubicon Lake Nation to protect their traditional lands from harm as a result of irresponsible oil and gas exploitation, including the effects of fracking. The Lubicon Lake Nation is unique in Alberta in the respect that they have never ceded their lands to Alberta or Canada through treaty.

In November 2013, The Lubicon cited PennWest for trespass as well as numerous environmental violations related to fracking, and oil and gas development on Lubicon traditional lands. When PennWest broke off talks, Lubicon trappers and citizens camped out on their lands in order to prevent development until talks resumed. In addition to physically defending their land, the Lubicon Lake Nation filed a lawsuit against the oil and gas giant in the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench requesting an injunction and recognition of Lubicon aboriginal title and authority over their lands.

In response, PennWest brought a motion to strike the case from the courts, suggesting that because Alberta issued permits to them they should be immune to legal action from aboriginal groups who are negatively impacted. In a written submission, lawyer for the Lubicon Lake Nation, James O’Reilly contends that the issue is a matter of existing aboriginal title and rights held by the Lubicon Lake Nation, which should take precedence over harmful exploitation activity by an oil and gas company and calls into question whether Alberta has the authority to issue such permits in the first place.

This action will be heard in the shadow of a spill of toxic oil and gas condensate by nearby Murphy Oil Company into wetlands used by the Lubicon Lake Nation, which has been estimated to be at least 2.7 million Litres in size only a few weeks ago.

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