Territorial rights in Labrador: Innu Strategic Alliance asks to be consulted

SEPT-ILES, QC, March 25 /CNW Telbec/ - Facing a total inaction from the governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador, as regards the Innu rights in Labrador, the five Chiefs of the Innu Strategic Alliance sent a demand letter to the Government of Canada, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and to Innu Nation on March 19. The letter demands "an immediate cease of all discussions, meetings and communication concerning the execution of such a treaty and insists that the process be started anew to enable consultation with the Innu communities of Quebec and their participation in such treaty negotiations and the recognition of their rights in Nitassinan."

The question of the future Treaty between the Federal Government, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and Innu Nation (the political body that represents the two Innu communities in Labrador) is very important for the Innu Strategic Alliance. "For months, we have strived for our Aboriginal rights to have recognition in Labrador. A portion of Labrador is our Nitassinan - our ancestral territory - and we must preserve our heritage on these lands," stressed the five Chiefs of the Alliance.

The Innu Strategic Alliance condemns the federal government for not fulfilling its fiduciary obligations. Indeed, the government shouldn't ignore that the Innu have an Aboriginal title and ancestral rights to this part of the Nitassinan. In excluding the Innu of Quebec through a process that affects their rights, the Government of Canada has breached its fiduciary duties.

The Innu Strategic Alliance

The Innu Strategic Alliance brings together the Chiefs of the Innu communities of Ekuanitshit, Matimekush-Lac John Pessamit, Uashat mak Mani Utenam and Unamen Shipu, representing about 12, 000 people and representing 70% of the members of the Innu Nation living in Quebec. The Strategic Alliance's mandate is to enable parties to defend their rights and convergent interests, and to initiate joint actions of all kinds in order to achieve political, economic and judicial results.


For further information: For further information: Marie-Hélène Boudreau-Picard, Consultant, Cardinal Communication, (450) 638-5159, (514) 349-2315, 1-877-638-5159, mariehelene@cardinalcommunication.com; www.cardinalcommunication.com

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