International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples - Chief Ghislain Picard
calls for solidarity

WENDAKE, QC, Aug. 9 /CNW Telbec/ - On this International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, the AFNQL Chief is launching a call for solidarity: "Peoples in every region of the world are engaged in a struggle to preserve their identity, their rights, their languages and their cultures. They are also engaged in a struggle to ensure their development and the future of their children. Governments and States in every region of the world, including the one where I live, are to this day, in 2009, displaying a clearly colonialist attitude and are systematically treating the rights and identity of Indigenous peoples with contempt. This must stop," declared Ghislain Picard.

He is inviting the Indigenous peoples to strengthen the ties joining them together and to come to the support of one another.

The AFNQL is gaining an increasingly stronger presence among international institutions and bodies in which Indigenous peoples are represented. "The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a step in the right direction, but one that Canada, with Quebec hiding behind it, refuses to take. Some reactionary States, including Canada, are working by an agreement to keep Indigenous peoples in dependency and to pursue a policy of assimilation, one of the preferred tools of colonialists.

"The Indigenous peoples can rely only on themselves, their own strengths and their solidarity to ensure their future. We welcomed the colonialists, we extended our hand to them and we turned the other cheek. Now it is time for the Indigenous peoples to do what must be done so that they will be taken seriously. I am today launching a call for solidarity among us and I intend to make this solidarity a personal objective," added Chief Picard.

The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador is the regional organization regrouping the Chiefs of the First Nations in Quebec and Labrador.

SOURCE Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador

For further information: For further information: Alain Garon, Communications Officer, AFNQL, (418) 842-5020, Cell phone: (418) 956-5720

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