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Draft United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: The First Nations Are Asking the National Assembly to Adopt a Resolution of Support

by NationTalk on April 25, 2007808 Views

WENDAKE, QC, April 25 – At the three party leaders, the Chief of the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador (AFNQL), Ghislain Picard, asks that the National Assembly, by way of resolution, declares its support to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. “It is the duty of the Quebec National Assembly to take its distances from Canada’s stance and affirm solemnly its support to the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a document which is the result of more than 20 years of progress on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, on the international scene” stated Chief Picard.

Bringing to mind that, in 1985, the National Assembly adopted a resolution recognizing officially the Aboriginal Nations, Ghislain Picard invites the elected representatives of Quebec to, once again be innovative and insist on the government of Canada to forge ahead with the United Nations Declaration. As a matter of fact, the three opposition parties in Ottawa have already pronounced themselves in favor of the Declaration. The AFNQL was quite vocal during the past electoral campaign and has reminded the political parties about the importance of the First Nations for the future of Quebec. The AFNQL published a document called ” Final Summon to the Provincial Political Parties ” which contains the principles and the issues which the First Nations are confronted with. In an effort to pursue its work and enhance its means of action, the AFNQL intends to bring these issues before the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues who will be holding his sixth session from May 14th to May 25th.

“The United Nations must assume a constructive role as far as the problems linked to the rights of Indigenous Peoples are concerned, by granting a special attention to their sovereignty on natural resources. We intend to be more and more present on the international scene, in order to move forward and insure progress on government policies pertaining to us”, stated Chief 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.

For further information: Alain Garon, Information and Communications Officer, AFNQL, (418) 842-5020, Cell.: (418) 956-5720

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