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MONTREAL, April 28 – The First Nations of Quebec and Labrador will take advantage of their presence at the United Nations in New York to present the documentary “The Invisible Nation” and, at the same time, to denounce the living conditions of indigenous peoples in Quebec. “It is essential to show the world that Canada, contrary to the image it projects, is not a paradise in terms of the living conditions there. That image does not reflect the situation of the First Nations,” said Ghislain Picard, Chief of the Assembly of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador (AFNQL). Filmmaker Richard Desjardins will accompany Chief Picard to New York to meet with the various delegations participating in the 7th Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, which is taking place from April 21 to May 2 at UN Headquarters in New York.
The Permanent Forum was established in 2000 by the UN Economic and Social Council, and is intended to create a permanent forum for debate and reflection for indigenous peoples. It is also intended to raise the awareness of the international community about the living conditions of indigenous peoples today. This year, an important delegation from the AFNQL is taking part in the work of the Forum.
The film “The Invisible Nation” by Richard Desjardins and Robert Monderie, produced and distributed by the National Film Board of Canada and winner of the 2008 Jutra Award for best documentary, will be presented on April 30 at Church Center for the United Nations in New York City. The presentation of this film, a hard-hitting documentary that shakes people out of their indifference with a shocking history lesson and an alarming portrait of the situation faced by the Algonquin Nation, will be followed by a discussion with Richard Desjardins, Chief Ghislain Picard, and Grand Chief of the Algonquin, Lucien Wabananik. The following day, on May 1, the AFNQL will also host a side event held right at UN Headquarters. This event examining the challenges facing the children and youth of the First Nations of Quebec will feature panellists Richard Desjardins, Chief Ghislain Picard, Grand Chief Lucien Wabananik (Tribal Council of the Anishinabeg Algonquin Nation), Grand Chief Eva Ottawa (Council of the Atikamekw Nation) and Chief Jean-Charles Piétacho (Council of the Innus of Ekuanitshit).
About the Permanent Forum
The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues was created by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in July 2000 with a mandate to provide expert advice on indigenous issues to the United Nations system, and to raise public awareness about these issues. It is comprised of 16 independent experts functioning in their personal capacity.
About the AFNQL
The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador is the regional organization of the Chiefs of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador.
For United Nations media accreditation -
Telephone: (212) 963-7164 / Web site:
For further information: Alain Garon, Information and Communications Agent, AFNQL, (418) 842-5020, Cell: (418) 956-5720
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