WENDAKE, QC, Oct. 18, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - "By stubbornly refusing to
this very day to recognize the territorial rights of numerous First
Nations, by refusing to ensure the right to a decent future for the
youth of our Nations, the federal and provincial governments are
courting the prospect of causing very serious danger to social peace
and economic development."
It is with such terms that the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and
Labrador has reacted to the violent events which have occurred in the
Mi'gmaq community of Elispotog, New Brunswick.
"I strongly and sincerely deplore what has happened, but such events can
happen again and they will happen again for as long as the Canadian
government and the provinces continue to deny to all First Nations, our
youth in particular, the right to decent lives on territories that we
have never ceded, to live decently on the resources to which these
Nations have an uncontestable right," said the Chief of the AFNQL
Ghislain Picard, clearly indignant about the situation.
Chief Picard went on to note that "in our territories here in Quebec,
fruitless negotiations have run on for decades without any results,
despite the sincere efforts of generations of leaders. The obstinacy of
Canada and the provinces, including Quebec, prevails every time. Many
of our youth no longer believe in these negotiations, which began
before they were born, and which have brought nothing of benefit to
their nations. What kind of message are the federal government and the
provinces sending to youth? Is using violence the only way they are
being heard? Canadian society as a whole must ask itself this question
now. The situation is urgent," added Ghislain Picard.
"Stephen Harper proclaimed himself as the champion of the economy
throughout the recent Throne Speech. He wants free trade with Europe
but at the same time, he pours fuel on his relationship with the First
Nations. The time is coming when Mr. Harper will have to face up to his
responsibilities," concluded the Chief of the AFNQL.
The AFNQL Chiefs are meeting next week in the Mohawk community of
Akwesasne, where they will be discussing together means on how to
exercise their jurisdictions.
About the AFNQL
The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador is the political
organization bringing together 43 Chiefs of the First Nations in Quebec
and Labrador. www.apnql-afnql.com.
SOURCE: Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador
For further information:
Mélanie Vincent (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Cell phone: 418-580-4442