The First Nations are making their voice heard at Quebec's Forum on Mining Royalties

The AFNQL will convey the point of view of First Nations at the March 15 and 16 Forum on Mining Royalties organized by the Government of Quebec

WENDAKE, QC, March 14, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Last December 3rd, the AFNQL held a Summit on territories and resources which gathered about forty Chiefs and elected representatives from all First Nations. The Premier of Quebec, along with several members of her government, including Natural Resources Minister, Mrs. Martine Ouellet, accepted to participate in the Summit and listen to the representations of First Nations.

The AFNQL Summit focused on four main territorial themes, including the royalties. On this point, the AFNQL clearly indicated its objective which is to ensure that the First Nations retain a sizeable share of the wealth generated by the exploitation of the land and its resources.

"It is with that same goal in mind that the AFNQL will appear before the Forum on mining royalties. I want to be very clear with the government of Québec: First nations want a fair share of the collective wealth from the resources of the territory, their territory, an equitable share of which they have been deprived of for too long", indicated Ghislain Picard, Chief of the AFNQL.

"I am, however, very concerned to see Quebec, in 2013, all the while being very well acquainted with the subject of our rights and territorial issues for decades, initiate an essential reflection on mining royalties, as if the First Nations didn't exist. This attitude is, in my opinion, abhorrent and outdated and can only lead to conflict situations which are detrimental to everyone. On the other hand, the First Nations have heard the Premier, at the December 3rd Summit, take a position on how the economic spin-offs should be shared for the benefit of all concerned", added Chief Picard.

"On last December 3rd we tabled a clear position on royalties, including the mining royalties. The Quebec's Forum on mining royalties of this coming March 15 and 16, is a unique opportunity, for both the industry and the Quebec government, to open the eyes and realize that the First Nations are always present on the territory, that they can no longer be ignored or by-passed and they want to get the benefits of the collective wealth derived from the exploitation of land and resources", concluded Chief Ghislain Picard.

About the AFNQL
The Assembly of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador is the political organization regrouping 43 Chiefs of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador.


For further information:

Mélanie Vincent
(418) 842-5020
(418) 580-4442

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