11/27/2013 04:02 EST | Updated 01/27/2014 05:59 EST

Lubicon Lake First Nation Block PennWest From Access To Alberta Oil Lease

PEACE RIVER, Alta. - Just under two dozen Lubicon Cree are blocking an energy company from land where it's trying to drill for oil.

An estimated 20 members of the Lubicon Lake First Nation — a group not recognized by the federal government — are blocking a PennWest Exploration (TSX:PWT) access road northeast of Peace River.

A group spokesman says the company hasn't consulted with the First Nation on the development.

A PennWest representative says the company has been working with the Lubicon Lake Band.

That's the leadership recognized by Ottawa and the group PennWest is required to work with by the Alberta government.

Both sides say RCMP officers have been to the site.

The Lubicon Lake First Nation filed a lawsuit against the federal government last summer seeking a reserve and hundreds of million of dollars in compensation for oil and natural gas extracted from land it claims.

The two aboriginal groups have been divided for years over questions of rightful leadership.

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