Much work lies ahead to improve relations with First Nations and establish harmonious coexistence
WENDAKE, QC, July 25, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - AFNQL Chief Ghislain Picard today said he is pleased by the recent success of the Cree Nation and offered his congratulations to Cree Grand Chief Matthew Coon-Come on signing an agreement on governance in the James Bay territory. But as Chief Picard added, "Sooner or later, Premier Jean Charest will have to give the same energy to resolve the situations holding back other First Nations." The absence of Premier Charest from an important meeting with Aboriginal leaders today in Halifax demonstrates once again his negligence and lack of respect towards the First Nations.
It has become a tradition for the premiers of the provinces and territories to meet with Aboriginal leaders in advance of meetings held by the Council of the Federation.
"The premier of Quebec has the duty to take account of all First Nations in Quebec concerning their territorial presence and activities. He cannot limit himself to simply follow up on agreements signed by his predecessors with a few Aboriginal nations. Of course, we are happy for the Nations signing agreements and we can applaud that they have accomplished as much. But what about all the others? This is a question that cannot be ignored," noted AFNQL Regional Chief Ghislain Picard in response to the signing yesterday of an agreement on governance with the Cree Nation.
"A vast majority of our First Nations find that the Charest government closes the door to them when it comes to matters of territorial management and the sharing of resources. We strongly condemn the provincial government's attitude in this regard. It is having and will have increasingly harmful effects on the harmonious development of Quebec's economy. The Charest government's record over the past nine years gets a failing grade on this issue, among others.
"By refusing to meet with Aboriginal leaders today in Halifax, Jean Charest is only confirming his negligence in addressing issues of crucial importance for Quebec's future," added the AFNQL Regional Chief.
About the AFNQL
The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador is the political organization of 43 First Nations Chiefs in Quebec and Labrador (www.apnql-afnql.com).
SOURCE: ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS OF QUEBEC AND LABRADORFor further information:
Cell phone: 418 580-4442