“Canada Chooses Reconciliation. Now It’s Quebec’s Turn To Do The Same.”
Wendake, September 21, 2021 – It is with resolve that Ghislain Picard, Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL), welcomed the results of the federal election. For the benefit of its member First Nations, the AFNQL is continuing its march towards self-determination. The parties elected to the Canadian Parliament on September 20th, must respect the will expressed by the Canadian population and not stand in the way of reconciliation with First Nations. Indigenous health legislation and essential police services must become a reality. Indigenous child and family services legislation must be implemented. Additional federal legislative initiatives must be developed to support First Nations’ self determination and clearly make it part of Canada’s political reality.
The AFNQL’s attention will now turn to the population of Quebec, which is certainly more progressive than the current provincial government. Following its first anniversary, the AFNQL’s Action Plan against Racism and Discrimination will continue reaching out to Quebec’s society in a gesture of mutual engagement towards reconciliation. The AFNQL intends to demonstrate that if it wishes to assert itself and be respected, the Quebec nation must first respect First Nations who have always been present on the territory. A great nation is not built by violating the rights of others.
“Respect for First Nations’ right to self-determination and their ancestral and treaty rights, language rights, cultures and ways of life; this is how the AFNQL wants to build reconciliation with the people of Quebec. Rather than seeing it as a threat, rather than systematically obstructing it, the provincial government of Quebec should instead see it as the key to the harmonious development of Quebec’s society as a whole. This is the message that the AFNQL will continue to convey to the people of Quebec.
Through a political table with the Legault government set up at the initiative of the Chiefs’ Assembly, the proposal of a parliamentary committee bringing together the Chiefs’ Assembly and the National Assembly, and the holding of an economic event with Quebec in the fall of 2021, the AFNQL is making every possible effort to bring the current provincial government towards reconciliation, towards a respectful and progressive relationship with First Nations. First Nations have confidence in the people of Quebec, in their attachment to social justice, in their commitment to future generations. It is now up to the government of the province of Quebec to set aside its fear of change and listen to the message of First Nations as well as that of a large portion of the Quebec population,” said Ghislain Picard, the day after a federal election which is certainly one more step towards reconciliation.
About the AFNQL
The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador is the political body that brings together 43 Chiefs of the First Nations in Quebec and Labrador.
Alain Garon, AFNQL
[email protected] or 418-254-4620