QUEBEC, June 3 /CNW Telbec/ - The Chiefs of the First Nations, meeting today in Quebec City, during a meeting of the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador (AFNQL), denounced the bureaucratic attitude of the federal government in face of the crisis facing members of the Atikamekw nation, who have been victims of forest fires. "This is a humanitarian crisis recognized by everyone except the federal government. Given this extraordinary situation, the government must immediately adopt special measures to provide relief to the populations involved", stated AFNQL Chief, Ghislain Picard.
Approximately 139,000 hectares of forest land are being ravaged by forest fires, which have had an impact on the Atikamekw communities of Manawan, Wemotaci and Obedjiwan, whose members had to be evacuated. It is still not known when it will be possible for the 1,300 members of the Atikamekw community of Wemotaci to return to their homes. Many will return to homes that have been damaged by the fires. "The impacts are important and the situation has to be considered as a humanitarian crisis. We are demanding that the federal government take immediate action to respond to the crisis that has struck our Atikamekw brothers and sisters", stated Chief Picard.
About the AFNQL:
The AFNQL is a regional organization representing 43 Chiefs of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador. For more information: www.apnql-afnql.com.
SOURCE Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador
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