WENDAKE, QC, Jan. 25, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - AFNQL Chief Ghislain Picard
welcomes the decision by Chief Theresa Spence to end the hunger strike
she began on December 11, 2012. Let us remember that she took this step
because of the dialogue of the deaf that has gone on for too long
between the First Nations leadership and the government of Stephen
"It is now up to us to be less complaisant towards the federal
government, which in turn must show that it has the openness necessary
for allowing us to embark on the true path of reconciliation, the first
condition of which is to possess the political will for doing so. Yet
this has been seen as being too often absent, noted Chief Picard, in
support of the unprecedented mobilization to which the entire country
has been a witness these past several weeks."
Canada could look to the spirit of the Paix des Braves for inspiration,
which could give it some examples on how to resolve disputes which too
often put the authorities of the First Nations in opposition to those
of other governments. "We must remember that when Quebec signed the
Paix des Braves with the Cree Nation in 2002, the outcome was a result
of the political will of two persons, who representing their respective
nations, namely Cree Grand Chief Ted Moses and former Quebec Premier
Bernard Landry," added the AFNQL Chief.
Above all, we must not forget that the years which preceded the Paix des
Braves were a period of political instability, with considerable
impacts on all of Quebec society. During that time, the Cree Nation
found itself having to go before the courts, undoubtedly more often
that it would have liked to, in order to make Quebec respect its
obligations towards the Cree Nation.
As was previously pointed out by the AFNQL at the First Nations-Federal
Crown meeting of January 2012, there can be no progress without a
commitment at the highest level. "The ball is in the court of the
Harper government. The continuing mobilization of the people shows that
even its slightest actions will from now on be subject to non-stop
vigilance. The government no longer has a choice. The intentions that
we heard expressed on January 11th must rapidly lead to concrete actions," concluded Chief Picard.
About the AFNQL
The AFNQL is the regional organization of the 43 Chiefs of the First
Nations of Quebec and Labrador. For more information, visit: www.apnql-afnql.com.
SOURCE: ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS OF QUEBEC AND LABRADOR
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