"Actions to remind the public that the First Nations and First Nations rights are here to stay" - Chief Ghislain Picard

    QUEBEC, June 29 /CNW Telbec/ - In several regions of Quebec, members of
the First Nations are slowing traffic today to draw attention to their
ancestral rights and their desire to live together peacefully with
non-Natives. "The First Nations are an integral part of the future of Quebec.
That is the message we are sending out today," explained Ghislain Picard,
Chief of the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador.
    Like other First Nations groups across Canada, Quebec First Nations are
taking advantage of the June 29th "National Day of Action" to raise awareness
among the Quebec public of the principle issues facing Aboriginals today.
    "Like all the First Nations of Canada, we are frustrated by governments
that are slow to deal with matters of importance to us. We decided not to
block any roads, but we still want to remind the people of Quebec about our
real concerns, and to tell them that the status quo is no longer an option,"
he went on to specify.
    The traffic slowing activities underscore a frustration that is not aimed
at the people of Quebec, but at the governments. The First Nations want to
develop partnerships and true friendships with their Quebec neighbours,
because the future of the First Nations and their relationship with the state
involve not only the governments, but society as a whole.

    Just as important as the environment

    Accepting this situation rather than ignoring it will allow the First
Nations to contribute more to the society that surrounds them. Chief Picard is
encouraging the people of Quebec to fully grasp the importance of issues
related to Aboriginal rights. "These matters are just as important as climate
change and sustainable development. If we let things slide now, the future
generations will inherit problems that will be even more difficult to
resolve," added Ghislain Picard.

    The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador is the regional
organization representing the Chiefs of the First Nations of Quebec and

    (*) Please note that Ghislain Picard will join the March of Solidarity
    with the First Nations People at 1:30 PM, rather than noon as previously

For further information:

For further information: Alain Garon, Communication and Information
Officer, AFNQL, (418) 842-5020, Cell: (418) 956-5720

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