WENDAKE, QC, Sept. 19, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - On September 6th, the Assembly of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador sent a letter to the Premier-elect, Pauline Marois, requesting that her government indicate within a delay of thirty days, its intention to participate in a First Nations Summit that will focus on the territory and the resources.
At the end of a special meeting held on the Atikamekw territory on August 28 and 29, 2012, the Chiefs from the different nations agreed that it was now time to discuss the real issues that are of common concerns to them and which are closely related to an exploitation of natural resources, that closes its eyes on the presence of our peoples which dates back thousands of years and has very little concern for the existence of aboriginal and treaty rights and aboriginal title to the territory.
"For the chiefs we represent, the territory being claimed as québécois, is first and foremost the territory of our peoples. The necessary discussion must start on the basis that recognizes this fundamental historical and legal reality", stated the Chief of the AFNQL. "I wish to congratulate Madam Élizabeth Larouche for her nomination as Minister for Native Affairs. We stand ready and we are open to a constructive working relationship with the new Minister responsible for Native Affairs, while insisting that this responsibility devolves also and mainly on the Premier, Madame Marois, as head of government", added Chief Ghislain Picard.
The AFNQL is encouraged by the words of the Premier at the conclusion of the electoral evening, who expressed the wish that the relations between Quebec and the First Nations be much closer and more fruitful. "The chiefs from the different nations expect that this openness will amount to an immediate and concrete commitment from Quebec to discuss the issues related to the territory", concluded the chief of the AFNQL.
About the AFNQL
The AFNQL is the regional organization regrouping the 43 Chiefs of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador. For information: www.apnql-afnql.com.
SOURCE: ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS OF QUEBEC AND LABRADOR
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