Québec First Nations Rattle Cages on Parliament Hill in Ottawa



    OTTAWA, Dec. 10 /CNW Telbec/ - An important delegation of Chiefs and
members of First Nations of Québec and Labrador are storming Ottawa Parliament
today. Several activities and political meetings have been planned to foster
federal government and opposition parties' awareness with regard to First
Nations of Québec and Labrador issues and objectives. "We are going to rattle
cages," promised the Chief of the Assembly of First Nations of Québec and
Labrador (AFNQL), Ghislain Picard.
    Throughout the day, a dozen Chiefs will meet with different federal
politicians, among which the Leader of the Bloc Québécois, Gilles Duceppe, and
the leader of the NPD, Jack Layton.
    An "open house" activity will also be held within the Parliament to allow
federal elected representatives, their staff and different interest groups to
get to know the various issues related to different sectors of Aboriginal
activity (housing, economy, employment, education, health) and the solutions
the AFNQL has proposed.
    This lobby operation is also meant to express First Nations of Québec and
Labrador Chiefs' profound weariness with the federal government's failure to
act in numerous files. First Nations are presenting today their very own
political platform, which will guide a series of actions aimed at profoundly
modifying relations with the federal government. "What we are saying today is
that the status quo cannot be tolerated anymore and that, from now on, we are
going to take the actions required to put an end to the colonial system. We
are taking our place and it would be in the federal government's best interest
to accept it. Our presence should open eyes," declared Ghislain Picard.

    The AFNQL platform rests on four basic elements: 1) the recognition of
First Nations governments; 2) entering into territorial, fiscal and financial
agreements; 3) replacing the Indian Act by a government-to-government
relationship; 4) the implementation of the First Nations Action Plan.

    The Assembly of First Nations of Québec and Labrador is the organization
that represents the Chiefs of First Nations of Québec and Labrador.




For further information:

For further information: Alain Garon, Information and Communication
Officer, AFNQL, (418) 842-5020, Cell: (418) 956-5720


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