The Federal Government is Blamed on the International Scene



    WENDAKE, QC, Oct. 23 /CNW Telbec/ - The Chief of the Assembly of First
Nations of Quebec and Labrador (AFNQL), Ghislain Picard, welcomes with
satisfaction, the words of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human
Rights, Madam Louise Arbour, as well as those of the United Nations Special
Rapporteur on adequate housing, Mr. Miloon Khotari, both condemning the
Canadian government on the way it treats the First Nations.
    "The Canadian government has to face up to its responsibilities towards
the First Nations. It's high time that our right to self-government be
recognized, as well as the obligation to respect our treaties. Madam Arbour
and Mr. Khotari confirm, once again, that the federal government does not
honor its obligations towards the First Nations and that it is not an example
of respect of human rights", states Mr. Picard.
    Madam Arbour affirms that, on the international level, Canada is seen as
an example of tolerance and diversity, and that its stance towards the United
Nations Declaration on Indigenous Peoples, is very surprising and very
disappointing.
    As maintained by the AFNQL for many years now, there is a crisis in
housing and Mr. Khotari is telling Canada to review its housing strategy
towards the Aboriginal peoples. The Special Rapporteur, who just completed
yesterday a two-week journey in Canada, states that the government must invest
more funds and resources in order to attain adequate housing conditions for
people living in and outside the communities.
    Mr. Khotari is especially concerned by the devastating effects of
paternalism that the federal government entertains towards the First Nations.
Instead of contributing to improve the situation, the current legislations,
policies and budgetary allocations have negative impacts.
    To conclude, the AFNQL wishes to express its gratitude to Mr. Khotari for
his presence in Canada and for his sympathetic ear during his visit.

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




For further information:

For further information: Alain Garon, Communications Officer, AFNQL,
(418) 842-5020, Cellular: (418) 956-5720


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