WENDAKE, QC, Sept. 27, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The AFNQL is still waiting for Pauline Marois' answer. AFNQL has formally requested the Marois government to confirm within thirty days after its election, its intentions to participate or not in the First Nation Summit on Territories and Resources. This deadline expires on October 5th.
Duty to accommodate between the Crown and the First Nations, requirement for meaningful consultation of the First Nations, effective protection of territories and its resources, joint management of territories, fair distribution of royalties over resources, these are some of the topics that the Chiefs of the First Nations will be addressing at a Summit to be held this fall, less than one hundred days after the election of a new provincial government, as a recent AFNQL press release indicated.
"The Marois government is invited to participate in this Summit, and to find common ground with us. We are open to respectful exchange which may lead to effective solutions, but we have run out of patience", indicated Ghislain Picard, Chief of the AFNQL.
The decision to hold a summit was taken recently when a number of Chiefs gathered in Wemotaci in support of the Atikamekw Nation which, for the past thirty years has been trying peacefully, but to no avail, to assert its rights.
"First Nation aboriginal and treaty rights are embedded into the cornerstones of the Canadian State. The duty to accommodate these rights was confirmed by the highest court in this country. The federal government as well as provincial governments are subject to it. Nothing is happening. The lands continue to be developed, and we continue to be left out. Governments pay attention only when our population blocks roadways. This is totally irresponsible and unacceptable, and this situation cannot be allowed to persist", concluded Chief Ghislain Picard.
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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