WENDAKE, QC, Sept. 13, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - September 13, 2016, marks the 9th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the General Assembly of the United Nations. The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) wishes to highlight, today, this historic moment for our Nations as well as for the 370 million of Indigenous peoples across 70 countries.
"On September 13, 2017 in the context of the activities surrounding the 375th anniversary of the city of Montreal, Canada's 150th anniversary and to mark the 10 years of the Declaration, we want to schedule an event that warrants the importance of the Declaration and its principles and what it means to us. This is the best opportunity to emphasize on the necessity of harmonious relations and cooperation between States and Indigenous peoples. It is time that States recognize and reconcile with their colonial past. We then can talk about true reconciliation with Indigenous peoples", said the Chief of the AFNQL, Ghislain Picard.
Canada lifted its permanent objector status in May 2016, when the Minister of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs, Madam Bennett, announced that Canada now fully supports the Declaration.
"Actions must follow words. We need a government that has the courage to truly implement the provisions of the Declaration. In light of the opposition from the majority of First Nations against projects such as Energy East or Site C Dam, we are under the impression that our rights are not their priority. It is the government's responsibility to prove to us wrong", concluded the Chief of the AFNQL.
The Declaration explicitly encourages harmonious relationships and cooperation between States and Indigenous peoples. Although non-binding, the Declaration is a specific reference on Indigenous rights. It is part of the corpus of international law and, in this sense, it is important and essential.
About the AFNQL
The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador is the political organization regrouping 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