QUEBEC CITY, Sept. 11, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - During their Assembly on September 9-11, 2014 the AFNQL Chiefs pursued their objective of exercising their Aboriginal and Treaty Rights while increasing their participation in the economy. "As Chiefs of our Nations, we have the obligation and a clear direction from our First Nation citizens, to put an end to the exclusion from environmental issues and development imposed on us by other governments. The Tsilhqot'in Supreme Court of Canada Title Case decision will have an impact. Now is the time to act", declared Kitigan Zibi Chief Gilbert W. Whiteduck at the conclusion of the Chiefs meeting.
The AFNQL Chiefs met on September 9 with Premier Philippe Couillard and his Minister responsible for Aboriginal Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Kelley. "The Premier and his Minister were welcomed but they were also reminded that any development on our Territory and its Resources must take into account the four stakes that we as First Nations want to see respected: the co-management of territories and resources with First Nations, the conservation of territories and resources, the accommodation of First Nations following a meaningful and respectful consultation, and the payment of royalties", added Grand Chief Anne Archambault of the Malecite Nation of Viger.
"Chiefs are expecting Premier Couillard to immediately establish effective and respectful bilateral tables on Quebec's Interim Consultation Guide, on Revenue sharing, and a mechanism to engage with our Assembly, with the support of Minister Kelley. The Premier also confirmed his intention from now on to include First Nations in the development of the economy. After decades of exclusion and disrespect of our Aboriginal and Treaty rights, the openness demonstrated by the Premier is relevant to the intentions and will of the Chiefs", indicated Chief Terence McBride from the Timiskaming First Nation.
"Following the meeting with Premier Couillard and Minister Kelley, the AFNQL Chiefs are hopeful we will have a positive working relationship with this new provincial government. As always, the First Nations from all our Territories will remain very vigilant without any concession on the respect of our Aboriginal and Treaty Rights", concluded Chief Lloyd Phillips, from the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake.
Grand Chief Archambault, Chief Mc Bride, Chief Phillips and Chief Whiteduck are the members of the AFNQL Interim Chiefs Committee assuming the political leadership of the AFNQL while Chief Ghislain Picard is acting National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations.
The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and 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: 418 580-4442, [email protected]