Atikamekw protest: "Québec must engage in a nation-to-nation relationship" - Chief Ghislain Picard
WENDAKE, QC, June 26, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The Chief of the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador (AFNQL), Ghislain Picard, reacted to the blockade of logging companies this morning by the Atikamekw nation by urging the Quebec government to agree to set up a negotiation table to meet the demands of the Atikamekw. "The provincial government needs to stop ignoring the rights of the Atikamekw. It must immediately engage in a nation-to-nation relationship, which will lead to a sharing of resources and increased economic development for the communities," declared Chief Picard.
The Atikamekw launched a campaign this morning to defend their rights, with their first actions being to block logging operations in their ancestral territory, the Nitaskinan. "The Atikamekw are the first owners of this territory which they have occupied for millennia. When the Europeans arrived, 400 years ago, the Atikamekw welcomed them and agreed to share the land and the resources. The "nation-to-nation" relationship must be rooted in true partnership. It must result in royalties for the First Nation on any resource operations in the ancestral lands, as well as measures to bridge the economic gap that separates the people in these communities from the general population in Quebec," Chief Picard added.
About the AFNQL
The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador is the political organization that represents the 43 Chiefs of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador. www.apnql-afnql.com.
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