“Actions to Remind the Public That The First Nations and First Nations Rights are Here to Stay” – Chief Ghislain Picard
QUEBEC, June 29 – In several regions of Quebec, members of the First Nations are slowing traffic today to draw attention to their ancestral rights and their desire to live together peacefully with non-Natives. “The First Nations are an integral part of the future of Quebec. That is the message we are sending out today,” explained Ghislain Picard, Chief of the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador.
Like other First Nations groups across Canada, Quebec First Nations are taking advantage of the June 29th “National Day of Action” to raise awareness among the Quebec public of the principle issues facing Aboriginals today. “Like all the First Nations of Canada, we are frustrated by governments that are slow to deal with matters of importance to us. We decided not to block any roads, but we still want to remind the people of Quebec about our real concerns, and to tell them that the status quo is no longer an option,” he went on to specify.
The traffic slowing activities underscore a frustration that is not aimed at the people of Quebec, but at the governments. The First Nations want to develop partnerships and true friendships with their Quebec neighbours, because the future of the First Nations and their relationship with the state involve not only the governments, but society as a whole.
Just as important as the environment
Accepting this situation rather than ignoring it will allow the First Nations to contribute more to the society that surrounds them. Chief Picard is encouraging the people of Quebec to fully grasp the importance of issues related to Aboriginal rights. “These matters are just as important as climate change and sustainable development. If we let things slide now, the future generations will inherit problems that will be even more difficult to resolve,” added Ghislain Picard.
The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador is the regional organization representing the Chiefs of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador.
(*) Please note that Ghislain Picard will join the March of Solidarity with the First Nations People at 1:30 PM, rather than noon as previously announced.
For further information: Alain Garon, Communication and Information Officer, AFNQL, (418) 842-5020, Cell: (418) 956-5720