Le peuple invisible, a past that is finally revealed

    "I extend my congratulations to Mr. Desjardins and Mr. Monderie; it
    is about time that a documentary of this nature is released to expose
    the living conditions of the Anishinabé communities by exposing the
    unknown history of these people", Jean-Maurice Matte.

    ROUYN-NORANDA, QC, Oct. 28 /CNW Telbec/ - The Regional Conference of
Elected Officers of Abitibi-Témiscamingue congratulates Mr. Richard Desjardins
and Mr. Robert Monderie on the release of their documentary entitled "Le
Peuple invisible" which presents the unknown realities of these people.
According to the organization, the harsh reality of the Algonquins must be
exposed. For the first time, the history of these people will be presented to
the public on screen. The Algonquins have a language, a culture that is rich
and extensive knowledge to share. Considered as full citizens, the region must
recognize that they contribute to the specific identity of
Abitibi-Témiscamingue. This documentary is considered as a tool that will
contribute in changing the mentalities and will allow the population of the
region and throughout Quebec to have a better understanding of the realities
and the challenges of the Anishinabé the people.
    The Algonquins, with a population of 6,200, represent an important
segment of the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region and we must not neglect the fact
that their population continues to increase. Important injustices have been
committed in the past with First Nations; a healing process will be necessary.
"Our relationship with First Nations must be rebuilt on a new basis. We must
continue to live and co-exist together. We can no longer ignore the Algonquins
and we must recognize that we have a role to play as to ensure the future of
our region and the future of the people who live in the region. I invite the
entire population of Abitibi-Témiscamingue to participate in this endeavor",
explains the President of the Regional Conference of Elected Officers of
Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Mr. Jean-Maurice Matte.
    L'Abitibi-Témiscamingue is faced with an exceptional challenge, that is,
to create opportunities to build common projects between the Algonquins and
the various regional stakeholders and groups. "The relationship with
First Nations is considered a challenge that is inescapable. The quality of
our relations will play a determining role on the future of all, First Nations
and non natives. We must be aware that this will not be an easy task,
conflicts could emerge but we must understand that the risks will be greater
if we decide not to address this issue as a society and the problems will not
disappear on their own" expresses the President, Jean-Maurice Matte.
    The Regional Conference currently employs an Algonquin Liaison Officer,
Mrs. Johanne Lacasse, over the past five years. She works on building bridges
with First Nations with an approach based on mutual respect, transparent
communication means and a sound understanding of the needs of each stakeholder
while respecting an objective of fostering harmonious relationships.

For further information:

For further information: Interviews: Mr. Jean-Maurice Matte, (819)
737-2296, Ext. 240, (819) 856-5863; Source: Diane Guillemette, Communication
Agent, (819) 762-0774

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