MONTREAL, May 17, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - The territory now called Montreal had been long occupied by First Nations when the first Europeans settled on the shores of the St. Lawrence. In fact, 6000 years separate First Nations' presence on this land and the arrival of Jeanne Mance and Paul de Chomedey, Sieur de Maisonneuve. Celebrations for Montréal's 375th Anniversary are also an opportunity to celebrate the 6375 years of First Nations' presence on the territory now called Montréal.
Well before being named Ville-Marie, and thereafter Montreal by the first settlers, Tio'tia:ké is the name the Mohawks gave, and still give, to this island, which was a very important multicultural crossroad for many peoples in North America. "When the French settled here, Tio'tia:ké was already a metropolis, a First Nations metropolis", said the Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL), Ghislain Picard, during today's celebrations commemorating the 375 years of the founding of Montreal.
Deploring that the First Nations' presence has long been forgotten over the centuries, AFNQL Chief Picard reminded that not only the First Nations who occupied this territory in the 17th century accepted the presence of European newcomers on their land, but they also welcomed their culture, their trade and commerce activities and their religion.
"The Foundation of Montreal is closely related to our relations. Although they were not always friendly, in this year of anniversary, reconciliation can become an essential element for the future", he said.
The Chief of the AFNQL wants to acknowledge the will of the Mayor of Montreal, Mr. Denis Coderre, to make Montreal the metropolis of reconciliation and to recognize the fundamental place of Indigenous peoples in the past, present and future history of Montreal/ Tio'tia:ké.
About the AFNQL
The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador is the political organization of 43 Chiefs of the First Nations in 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