WENDAKE, QC, April 8, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - "Canada and the Provinces do not really know what false pretence to use to block the conclusion of treaties and honorable agreements between the Crown and the First Nations. It's urgent to act now." declared AFNQL Chief Ghislain Picard.
This is how the AFNQL reacts to the report recently submitted by Mr. Douglas Eyford to the Federal Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, which was recently made public. The report outlines the concerns on the Federal Policy on the settlement of First Nations Comprehensive Land Claims which was prepared at the request of the Minister. It should be noted however, that Minister Bernard Valcourt recently released on this subject, an interim policy that was unilaterally developed; it doesn't look good for future progress.
The continuing stalemate in dozens of negotiation files causes serious prejudice to First Nations involved and to Canada's development. All the citizens of this country, without any distinction, are paying a very heavy price. Over one billion dollars have been engaged in negotiations, which most often have caused only frustration. How much longer will we be able to tolerate the status quo?
The AFNQL acknowledges that Mr. Eyford's report contains positive elements in which any good- willed government could base itself to make rapid progress in all of the negotiation of the files.
"Everything has been said and done during the past forty years on the need to reconcile, through agreements and honorable treaties, in the interests of First Nations and of the Crown. Canada has experienced over those years of neglect, many social crises that have marked its history. Twenty-five years after the Oka "Crisis", haven't we learned anything? , stated Chief Picard.
The next federal campaign is a key opportunity for all the political parties to make a binding commitment towards a sincere journey of reconciliation. The AFNQL will make sure to remind them", concluded Ghislain Picard, Chief of the AFNQL.
About the AFNQL
The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec-Labrador is the political organization regrouping 43 Chiefs of the First Nations of 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