WENDAKE, QC, Aug. 23, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - "The dialogue of the deaf has lasted long enough, and the subjects that are of interest to First Nations cannot be ignored by the political party that will form the government on September 4th", stated Ghislain Picard, Chief of the AFNQL, who urges the next government of Quebec to hold a summit with First Nations, within a hundred days following its election.
"There will be only one item on the agenda of this summit: the territory, and the development of natural resources, which cannot be done without the consent of all First Nations. Forgotten peoples have long memories", added Ghislain Picard, who deplores that issues that are subject of deep concerns for First Nations, are totally ignored by the political parties.
This time, the AFNQL made the choice not to get involved in the campaign, although it feels that any party that aspires to lead the province of Quebec, must present the way it intends to proceed to build a political relationship as equals, on a nation to nation basis, with all First Nations. The track record of recent years is very poor in this regard.
"Developing a territory to the detriment of its first occupants, has a name: COLONIALISM. The next government of the Province of Quebec will have to take the step that Jean Charest never had the courage to take, come to an understanding with all First Nations on, for one, revenue sharing from the use of the land and its resources. Or else, the economic future of Quebec could be seriously compromised", added Chief Picard.
According to Chief Picard, it is for the entire population of Quebec to examine the issue of the relationship with First Nations. "Quebecers have everything to gain from an equitable sharing and harmonious relationships with First Nations. It is the key to Quebec's prosperity and development.", said Chief Picard.
"The political parties hoping to form the next government no longer have the option of ignoring us, to the same extent that they cannot allow themselves to ignore the summit we are proposing, at the latest, one hundred days after the election. Until then, each First Nation will take the measures it will deem necessary to protect its territory.", concluded the Chief of the AFNQL.
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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