"The Chiefs of the Other Nations Must Support the Endeavours of the Atikamekw Nation" Maintains Ghislain Picard
WENDAKE, QC, June 28, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The Chief of the AFNQL, Ghislain Picard, denounces the Quebec government's attempt to discredit the actions taken by the Atikamekw nation, and accuse the Atikamekw leaders of holding the regional economy hostage. It is rather the Atikamekw nation that is held hostage by a negotiation process that has been ongoing for a whole generation, without real progress.
Today is the third day of roadblock for the Atikamekw nation; a blockade meant to put an end to the pillage of its territory without appropriate consultation, accommodation, compensation or sharing of revenues drawn from the exploitation of natural resources.
The Chief of the AFNQL is asking the Chiefs of the other nations of Quebec and Labrador to show their support to the Atikamekw nation. "All the nations, without exception, are faced with the same arrogance of a Quebec government that is trying by every way possible to evade its obligations towards our peoples. As of today, I am asking all the member Chiefs who sit at our table to show, in accordance with any means which they consider to be appropriate, support to the Atikamekw nation, indicated Ghislain Picard. This indifference has run its course. It has become urgent for our people to mobilize."
The Chief of the AFNQL finds unacceptable and inappropriate the comments of Aboriginal Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Kelley, who, on the one hand claims to understand the frustration of the Atikamekw Chiefs while, on the other hand, says that a blockade is not the way to find a solution. "The Aboriginal Affairs Minister must learn to be a little more constructive. How many times should we call this government to order? We should not forget that the Atikamekw leaders have already invested enough in this negotiation process that has gone awry!" added Chief Picard.
The Chief of the AFNQL doesn't leave out the possibility of sending a neutral international observer on the blockade site. "The violation of rights of the Atikamekw people and other nations has lasted long enough. Time has come for the international community to look closely into the attitude of governments which claim to be ahead of its time as regard relations with our peoples", concluded Chief Picard.
About the AFNQL
The Assembly of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador is the political organization regrouping the 43 Chiefs of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador. www.apnql-afnql.com.