WENDAKE, QC, Sept. 13, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Five years after the adoption
by the United Nations of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous
Peoples, Canada's Aboriginal Peoples are still waiting for concrete
actions that will translate into a genuine desire of the federal
government to implement the Declaration.
The Assembly of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador (AFNQL) wanted
to mark this anniversary by inviting the First Nations in Quebec, to
celebrate this major milestone in the recognition of our peoples'
rights. The Declaration will pave the way for the States to modify
their approaches and address issues related to identity and culture,
employment and education and territory and resources.
Bear in mind that the UN General Assembly adopted with an overwhelming
majority the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, on
September 13th 2007. Four States chose to vote against its adoption: Australia, New
Zealand, the United States and Canada. After numerous campaigns
denouncing its opposition, Canada hesitantly endorsed the Declaration
in November 2010. In regards to this change, the AFNQL wishes to
recognize the efforts deployed by several organizations of the civil
society which most certainly contributed in reversing Canada's
"We are still a very long way from the implementation which should,
among other things, allow a reform of Canadian policies that contravene
several principles advocated by the Declaration", stated Ghislain
Picard, Chief of the AFNQL. "After nearly a quarter century of
representations, efforts and negotiations between our representatives
and the States, including Canada which continues to impose its law at
the expense of our peoples", added the Chief of the AFNQL.
"This celebration must be an opportunity to invite all Aboriginal
Peoples to continue that battle, to ensure that the Declaration
translates into a practical and real commitment to end colonialism",
pointed out Chief Picard. On the other hand, the AFNQL hopes that
Quebec, under a new government, will be able to meet the challenge that
the Canadian government is trying to avoid. Even if the Parti québécois
has already made public its support for the Declaration, Québec
solidaire remains to this day, the only party that has proposed its
About the AFNQL
AFNQL is the regional organization regrouping the 43 Chiefs of the First
Nations of Quebec and Labrador. For information: www.apnql-afnql.com.
SOURCE: ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS OF QUEBEC AND LABRADOR
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