Alberta Premier Jim Prentice to meet with Lubicon band chief over land claim

By on October 31, 2014

Jim Prentice (Facebook photo)
Jim Prentice (Facebook photo)

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jim Prentice is heading to northern Alberta for talks with an aboriginal band that has been seeking land in the heart of the oilsands region for decades.

Prentice is to sit down with Chief Billy Joe Laboucan and council from the Lubicon Lake Band, which has been trying to work out a land claim since the 1980s.

Internal tensions over the years caused the band to split into two.

One, headed by Laboucan, is recognized by the federal government while the other, headed by Bernard Omniyak, is not.

Omniyak’s followers have protested the growth of the energy industry on what they call their lands and have taken the province to court.

Prentice may be the first premier to travel to Lubicon territory to meet with its leaders since Don Getty a generation ago.