WENDAKE, QC, Feb. 12 /CNW Telbec/ - "The Romaine Project is located entirely on Innu Territory. It is important to remember this," stated the Chief of the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador (AFNQL), Mr. Ghislain Picard, in reaction to the Press Release, issued by Hydro-Quebec affirming that the project is located "entirely on Quebec territory". This information is incorrect because it fails to take into account the reality of First Nations rights. "Our experience has shown that far too often Hydro-Quebec completely ignores our Ancestral Rights and Aboriginal Title as First Nations. It is both insulting and inacceptable."
The Innu were never conquered and never renounced their sovereignty or their Aboriginal Title.
Since 1979, the Innu from the North Shore and from Lac St.-Jean have been engaged in land claim negotiations. They have rights and the issue of Innu title over this territory is very relevant. "The ancestral rights of the Innu, like the rights of other First Nations, are still valid and opposable to Crown title" stated Chief Ghislain Picard.
Consequently, neither Hydro-Quebec nor the government can claim clear and exclusive title to the territory where the Romaine development project is to be developed. It must also be pointed out that the Innu territory, Nitassinan, does not take any boundaries into account and thus the Innu have title and claim to a vast territory covering Quebec and Labrador.
The Assembly of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador is the regional organization regrouping the Chiefs of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador.
SOURCE Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador
For further information: For further information: Alain Garon, Communications Officer, AFNQL, 418 956-5720