5th Anniversary of the Adoption by the UN of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples - "We are still a very long way from the implementation"

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 position.

"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 implementation.

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

For further information:

Mélanie Vincent
(418) 842-5020
(418) 580-4442
apnql@apnql-afnql.com

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ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS OF QUEBEC AND LABRADOR

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