The obstinacy of the federal and provincial governments to recognize First Nations' territorial rights is a danger to social peace and economic development

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 (melanievincent21@yahoo.ca)
Cell phone: 418-580-4442


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