WENDAKE, QC, Nov. 6 /CNW Telbec/ - "The process is off to a bad start" declared Ghislain Picard, Chief of the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador (AFNQL) talking about the meeting organised by Nathalie Normandeau, Vice-Premier and Minister of Natural Resources, on the project "Plan Nord".
First Nations demand the total respect of their ancestral rights, of their Aboriginal title, their historical and modern treaties, and their inherent right to self government. "Our communities are not municipalities; our relationship must be one of nation to nation, government to government" Chief Picard points out. He is also requesting Federal government to honor its fudiciary obligations towards First Nations and to intervene to prevent the violation by this "Démarche du Nord" of our ancestral and historical and modern treaty rights. In a letter sent to Prime Minister of Canada, Chief Ghislain Picard, wrote: "it is you who is an accomplice with the provinces when you let the Provincial government of Quebec scorn the rulings of the Supreme Court with respect to First Nation's ancestral and the historical and modern treaty rights as well as consultation and accommodation".
"Both the honor of the Crown and the relation of trust are scorned every day by both the governments of Canada and that of the provinces. The development and the exploitation of First Nations' non-surrendered territories and resources are continuing without consideration and respect for our constitutional rights and without respect for the numerous rulings of the Supreme Court of Canada. The time has come to correct a degrading and unhealthy situation for the development of both First Nations and Canada" wrote Chief Picard in the letter sent to Prime Minister of Canada. "Without us, the Plan Nord is a Plan Mort" concluded Chief Picard.
The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador is a regional organisation which regroups the Chiefs of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador.
For further information: Alain Garon, Communications officer, AFNQL, (418) 842-5020