- America -
The Lubicon Cree (also known as Lubicon Lake Nation or Lubicon Lake Cree) live in the north of the province of Alberta in Canada. They belong to the Cree, which is one of the largest indigenous groups in North America – with about 200,000 people. The social structure of the Lubicon Cree is characterized by strong family ties, and the local government consists of family representatives.
The Lubicon Cree’s traditional territory is the basis of their livelihood. Again and again, they have to stand up for it, as the history of the people is characterized by conflicts with the Canadian government about territorial ownership. Within the last 30 years, the province of Alberta has approved of more than 2,600 potential oil and gas production licenses for the territory of the Lubicon Cree, and there are many oil and gas pipelines on the land where they go hunting and fishing. These pipelines also pose serious risks to the environment. In one of the largest oil accidents in Alberta, in 2011, about 28,000 barrels of crude oil seeped into the ground because of a leak in a pipeline. The incident occurred close to a Lubicon settlement near Little Buffalo.
For the province, the exploitation of the land of the Lubicon Cree is a source of considerable economic profit, but the people are increasingly suffering from the consequences. For them, the recent developments – which they hardly have any right to say about – are leading to poverty and inhumane living conditions.
Further information about the Lubicon Cree
Header photo: Red Earth Festival via Flickr