Quebec's Mineral Strategy - "Another opportunity missed by the government of
Quebec", Chief Ghislain Picard of the AFNQL

WENDAKE, QC, June 30 /CNW Telbec/ - The Assembly of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador (AFNQL) deplores that the government of Quebec's Mineral Strategy seriously falls short and lacks substance, in the way it treats its relations with First Nations, which will be placed at the same level as any municipality in Quebec. First Nations have rights over their territory and as such, it is unacceptable that First Nations be treated the same as municipalities that don't possess such rights.

"If the government wishes to be serious about this strategy, it will take this opportunity to set up a process that will really take into account the Aboriginal rights and treaty rights of First Nations, as required by the Supreme Court of Canada and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We have always stated that the Interim Guide for Consulting the Aboriginal Communities developed by the government of Quebec was not viable as far as our expectations are concerned. Several years ago, the AFNQL and its Chiefs adopted a Consultation Protocol, and we will conduct ourselves in a manner respecting this Protocol", explains the Chief of the AFNQL, Ghislain Picard.

Following the evasive answers provided yesterday morning at a press conference concerning the place of First Nations in the Quebec's Mineral Strategy, the AFNQL is asking itself serious questions on the intention of Minister Serge Simard to solve the land claim issues of First Nations.

This policy does not in any way address the reconciliation of First Nation rights and title.

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

SOURCE Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador

For further information: For further information: Alain Garon, Communication Officer, AFNQL, (418) 842-5020, Cellular: (418) 956-5720

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