WENDAKE, QC, June 12, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ -
Mr. Prime Minister,
The preliminary report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, released on last June 2nd, demands from all Canadians, and most importantly from the leader of the Canadian government, a rigorous soul-searching about the way this country, which claims to be modern, treats the First People in this country who have inhabited this land for millennia. The report gives further substance to a horrendous and tragic past which is essential to remember. The report also takes a look at the present and also looks to the future. The AFNQL also aims to the future, towards the many young First Nations people whose future is blocked by backward thinking policies imposed by your government.
The submission of the preliminary report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada must mark a turning point for everyone.
In order to clearly indicate your willingness to work with the First Nations towards genuine reconciliation, the first gesture that the AFNQL is seeking from you is the immediate replacement of the current minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Mr. Bernard Valcourt. This position of the AFNQL is in keeping with the views expressed by the Iroquois Caucus in its press release published on last June 4th.
Maintaining this minister in place will mean for the AFNQL that you have no real intention of grabbing the historical opportunity of reconciliation that is offered. Your minister has shown on too many occasions his total lack of respect for the First Nations, his absolute failure to understand our issues, as well as his incompetence. Since he has been in office, this same minister has repeatedly tried to impose on us measures which are disturbingly reminiscent of the colonial past. His attitude has produced a feeling of extreme and worrying exasperation on the part of the First Nations.
Enough is enough Mr. Prime Minister. Minister Valcourt must be removed from office immediately.
In Peace and Friendship,
Signed by: Ghislain Picard, Chief of the AFNQL
About the AFNQL
The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec-Labrador is the political organization regrouping 43 Chiefs of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador www.apnql-afnql.com.
SOURCE Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador
For further information: Mélanie Vincent, [email protected], Cell.: 418-580-4442