Summit on the Future of the Quebec Forest Sector - "The AFNQL demands commitments towards recognition of Aboriginal title," declares Chief Ghislain Picard



    WENDAKE, QC, Dec. 8 /CNW Telbec/ - In the framework of the Summit on the
Future of the Quebec Forest Sector, the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec
and Labrador (AFNQL) reiterates it is very concerned about the future of the
forest industry in Quebec.
    "In 2004, we had the opportunity to present our territorial and resource
claims before the Coulombe Commission but have noted little progress in this
file up to now. We have always shown a great deal of good will but now are
patience is running out," explained the Chief of the AFNQL, Mr. Ghislain
Picard.
    The AFNQL demands that Premier Charest formally commit the Quebec
government to a proper consultation of First Nations. We once more reiterate
that the aim of the Mutual Political Commitment, signed in June 2003, was to
develop harmonious and respectful relations between First Nations and
Quebecers, especially with regard to territorial and resource issues.
    At their last assembly, the Chiefs of the AFNQL adopted a Declaration on
the Assertion of First Nations' Aboriginal Title and Rights over their
Territories, which will be tabled before Summit participants.

    Considering that the Faculté de foresterie et de géomatique de
l'Université Laval de Québec initiated the "Summit on the Future of the Quebec
Forest Sector" to plan the use of the forest, both as a territory and as a
resource in a context of sustainable development;

    Considering that the Summit will be made up of twelve groups representing
all sectors of activity the forest affects, be it for social, cultural,
recreational or economic purposes;

    Considering that First Nations hold Aboriginal title and rights
throughout their respective territories;

    Considering that First Nations are very concerned about the use of their
lands for industrial purposes without their consent;

    Considering that forest territory and resource development cannot be
legally carried out without full recognition of First Nations' Aboriginal
title and rights;

    Considering that recognition of Aboriginal title and rights comes under
federal responsibility and that the resolution process must include the
government of Quebec;

    Considering that the partners in this declaration wish that the
government of Quebec and First Nations reach a fair and equitable settlement
of the claim regarding First Nations' Aboriginal title and rights for all
parties concerned;

    Considering that First Nations are major players in regional economic
development,

    Therefore we, as participants in the "Summit on the Future of the Quebec
Forest Sector", demand that the Premier of Quebec and the Prime Minister of
Canada make firm commitments and take concrete actions in order to recognize
First Nations' Aboriginal title and rights and establish a settlement process
while providing First Nations with the human and financial resources required
for such purpose.

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




For further information:

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


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890