WENDAKE, QC, Oct. 14, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - As the electoral campaign enters its last week before the vote on October 19, 2015, it will be essential for the newly-elected government to restore the bond of trust with the leaders of First Nations. The AFNQL considers that beyond the promises made by the parties to address the dire needs of their nations, there should be a clear commitment on their part to rebuild relationships, while respecting the unique history of Aboriginal Peoples as first inhabitants of this vast land.
"Our tie to the Crown is unique. The fundamental character of our alliance with the Canadian state must be respected. The next elected government must clearly indicate its intention to end this paternalism once and for all, and to commit to foster a respectful, collaborative relationship with our governments, in a spirit of reconciliation", stated the Chief of AFNQL, Ghislain Picard, who calls for no less and no more that the federal government revisits the role and responsibility the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, by changing its name to the Department of Relations with First Nations. "Time has come for the government to radically transform its practices based on the Indian Act and to move away from the colonial ideology that it promotes", pursues Chief Picard.
The AFNQL considers that such action taken by the next elected government could contribute to rebuild trust which obviously has been missing for a long time now.
"For far too long, government after government have acted as though we were subjects of the state. We need a government that is willing to work with us according to our unique status as First Nations and recognized by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the decisions of the Canadian Courts, the Canadian Constitution and our Treaty and inherent rights, including the right to self-determination", added Chief Picard.
The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador is the political organization regrouping 43 Chiefs of the First Nations in Quebec and Labrador. www.apnql-afnql.com.
SOURCE Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador
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