Territorial rights in Labrador: The Innu Strategic Alliance welcomes the
creation of a forum to address the issue of Innu overlapping rights in
Labrador

SEPT-ILES, QC, March 30 /CNW Telbec/ - The federal government announced Friday the creation of a forum to address the issue of Innu overlapping land rights in Labrador. This forum would be comprised of the federal government, of the Newfoundland and Labrador government, the Innu Nation (the political body representing the two Innu communities from Labrador) and the Innu communities in Quebec, whose portion of their traditional land, Nitassinan, is located in Labrador.

"It is high time that the federal government assumes its fiduciary responsibilities on the issue of Innu rights in Labrador. We welcome the establishment of this forum and hope that it will take into account our rights on this territory", underlined jointly the five Chiefs of the Innu Strategic Alliance.

Actions now paying off

The Chiefs of the Innu Strategic Alliance are pleased that the recent political activities paid off. The demonstration at the Parliament of Canada in November, the caribou hunt in Labrador last February, and the visit of Chief Georges Bacon to the House of Assembly of Newfoundland and Labrador are all political actions that are part of our success. The objectives of those actions were to raise among the public opinion and with political authorities the issue of Innu Aboriginal Rights that have not been ceded nor relinquished on their traditional lands. "The first step can now be considered a success: we had to pressure the federal government to move and act, who, despite our letters and requests for many years, never respected our Aboriginal Rights in Labrador. We will remain vigilant within this forum to ensure that our Rights, our Aboriginal Title and our views on the development of the natural resources of our lands and territories are respected", declared the Innu Chiefs.

The Innu Strategic Alliance consents to participate in this forum in good faith and to determine the scope of the rights of their members over their traditional lands and territories in Labrador that were used and occupied by their people since time immemorial.

The Innu Strategic Alliance

The Innu Strategic Alliance brings together the Chiefs of the Innu communities of Ekuanitshit, Matimekush-Lac John, Pessamit, Uashat mak Mani Utenam and Unamen Shipu, representing about 12, 000 people and representing 70% of the members of the Innu Nation living in Quebec. The Strategic Alliance's mandate is to enable parties to defend their rights and common interests, and to initiate joint actions of all kinds and nature in order to achieve political, economic and legal gains.

SOURCE ALLIANCE STRATEGIQUE INNUE

For further information: For further information: Marie-Hélène Boudreau-Picard, Consultant, Cardinal Communication, (450) 638-5159, (514) 349-2315, 1-877-638-5159, mariehelene@cardinalcommunication.com, www.cardinalcommunication.com

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ALLIANCE STRATEGIQUE INNUE

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