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Prentice renews provincial dialogue with Lubicon Lake Band

Premier Jim Prentice says he has renewed the dialogue between the province and the Lubicon Lake Cree after a meeting with its chief and council Thursday in Little Buffalo.

The band has been after a land claim for decades, which Prentice says the province is prepared to deliver the land if required.

“Alberta remains ready, willing, and able to return to the table once there’s some progress being made, and we certainly stand by our constitutional obligation to work together in terms of the land obligation.”

Chief Billy Joe Laboucan also opened a discussion on education and job skills training, as 58 per cent of the First Nation is unemployed.

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“These are significant steps forward. The provincial government has not had that degree of dialogue with the Lubicon First Nation in many, many, many years. I think both the Chief and I were pleased by the progress that we made.”

During a tour of Little Buffalo, Prentice saw significant improvements in quality of life, primarily from 19 trailers brought in as housing after the Slave Lake fire recovery process.

It was his his first trip to a First Nation since he was elected provincial leader.

The results of a recent audit showing millions of dollars of unexplained payments was not brought up.

Photo courtesy Emily Woods, Twitter

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