Conférence sur l'avenir des territoires (Conference on the Future of
Territories): The AFNQL is Appealing to the Governments of Canada and Quebec

WENDAKE, QC, April 21 /CNW Telbec/ - "By dragging its feet for decades on the recognition of the rights of the First Nations, the governments of Canada and Quebec are seriously jeopardizing the development of Quebec's regions."

This is the statement made by the Chief of the AFNQL, Ghislain Picard, as the Conférence sur l'avenir des territoires (Conference on the future of territories), opens in Shawinigan, an event hosted by Solidarité rurale du Québec. Chief Picard extends his thanks to the president of Solidarité rurale du Québec for her invitation, and hails the initiative and the undertaking as a sincere effort for dialogue. Chief Picard appreciates as well how all the participants received the concerns expressed by the AFNQL throughout the proceedings. During the Conference, the AFNQL will stick to a role of observer.

"The First Nations want to take part in development and they wish to do so in accordance with their rights, stated Chief Picard. The socioeconomic recovery in our communities is a constant preoccupation for our Chiefs and councils who devote all their energy to it. This recovery can and must be achieved within the mutual respect of rights and obligations. This is what we're demanding and we will stick to it in spite of the inertia of the governments in place. What does the government of Quebec mean when suddenly it starts talking about (land occupancy), while the land claims of most of our First Nations are not settled and our rights are constantly scorned? Should this be seen as provocation? The question is asked", concludes Chief Ghislain Picard.

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: Éric Cardinal, Communication Consultant, Cell.: (514) 258-2315,

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