The First Nations: Essential to the Future of Quebec - "The Recognition of a Sovereign Quebec Entails the Participation of the First Nations" - Ghislain Picard, Chief of the AFNQL



    WENDAKE, March 6 /CNW Telbec/ - "The recognition of a sovereign Quebec
entails the participation of the First Nations" warned today the Chief of the
Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador (AFNQL), Ghislain Picard, in
reaction to the comments of Parti Québecois Leader, André Boisclair, on the
international recognition of Quebec's sovereignty.
    "In accordance with both the internal law and the international law, it
is obvious that Quebec cannot unilaterally declare its full sovereignty on
territories still vested with Indian title. Furthermore, in accordance with
the right to self-determination recognized to the Aboriginal peoples, only the
members of each Aboriginal Nation of Quebec may choose freely their political
future", explained Chief Picard, who wonders about the importance granted by
the Leader of the Parti Québécois to the aboriginal issues.
    For that matter, Ghislain Picard assures that the First Nations will be
very active on the international scene over the next few months, in particular
in promoting the project of the "International Declaration of Indigenous
Peoples' Rights" and in exposing the situation which prevails in Quebec. "If
there's some question about the sovereignty of Quebec, the First Nations will
assert their viewpoint on the international forums" specified Chief Picard.
    Chief Picard is inviting André Boisclair to read the document: "Ultimate
Appeal to the Provincial Political Parties", made public last week, and which
contains the principles and issues which deserve the attention of the
political parties during this campaign.

    The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador is the regional
organization representing the Chiefs of the First Nations of Quebec and
Labrador. Last week, the AFNQL has launched an ultimate appeal to the leaders
of the political parties, so that they give an opinion on several fundamental
issues. In fact, the AFNQL extended an invitation to the five main parties to
participate in a debate which will be taking place on March 20th at the Maison
Théâtre de Montréal. All the information is available on the following
Website: www.appelultime-finalsummon.com.




For further information:

For further information: Alain Garon, Communication and Information
Officer, Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador, (418) 842-5020,
Cellular: (418) 956-5720


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