FSC mediation proposal : Mashteuiatsh plans to participate provided that their aboriginal rights are fully respected

MASHTEUIATSH, QC, Dec. 22, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Pekuakamiulnuatsh Takuhikan indicates that he intends to participate to a mediation plan announced December 17, 2015 by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) International, provided that the aboriginal rights, including aboriginal title, of the Pekuakamiulnuatsh First Nation are fully respected.

Before agreeing to participate in this process, Pekuakamiulnuatsh Takuhikan wants to discuss the parameters and particularly to ensure that all the rights of the First Nations will not be treated at the same level, even if that means changes in FSC standard.

Pekuakamiulnuatsh Takuhikan recalls that he actively participated, in good faith, to a mediation initiated by the Quebec government this spring to resolve a dispute related to forestry measures with the Crees concerning the territory of the Pekuakamiulnuatsh. Unfortunately, this mediation gave no result for Mashteuiatsh while the Quebec government and the Crees agreed on a purely administrative agreement, that we do not recognize and object.

In its notice of intention, FSC mentions that the primary focus will be on the suspended Lac-Saint-Jean FSC certificate and the terminated Mistassini FSC certificate. These two certificates are for forest management units located entirely within the territory of the Pekuakamiulnuatsh First Nation in Lac-Saint-Jean, where we have aboriginal rights, including aboriginal title, that the Crees who have explicitly extinguished all their rights in 1974, cannot claim.

Pekuakamiulnuatsh Takuhikan agrees, such as the Forest Stewardship Council International, on the importance of a continuous dialogue established between stakeholders, but it has to be based on the respect of their rights.

Furthermore, we also agree on the importance of the protection of woodland caribou and have proposed on this matter to the Quebec government in May 2015 an action plan on all Nitassinan, the territory of the Pekuakamiulnuatsh.

Pekuakamiulnuatsh Takuhikan is the political and administrative organization representing the Pekuakamiulnuatsh First Nation, counting 6 568 members. Mashteuiatsh is a community located in the Lac-Saint-Jean area.


SOURCE Pekuakamiulnuatsh Takuhikan

For further information: Dave Casavant, Pekuakamiulnuatsh Takuhikan, 418 275-5386, extension 245, 418 719-7186, dave.casavant@mashteuiatsh.ca

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