Hold a First Ministers’ meeting on First Nations issues urges chief

Monday, March 9th, 2020 10:08am


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Chief Ghislain Picard


Press Statement from the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador (AFNQL):

The "political crisis" is an unfortunate reminder that our rights, titles and treaties are being held hostage to a colonial ideology that systematically circumvents them. As long as the federal, provincial and territorial governments continue to ignore the urgency of sustainable solutions and the conditions to achieve them, we run the risk of having to manage other crises, which will inevitably involve resources and the inability for First Nations to access them and create their own economies.

"The First Ministers' Meeting convened by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cannot afford to turn a blind eye to the gap that continues to exist between the federal and provincial governments and First Nations. The events of the last few weeks have amply demonstrated the urgency to act and respond to our issues," said AFNQL Chief Ghislain Picard.

"We believe that the meeting of the country's leaders should engage them to hold a special First Ministers' meeting that would focus specifically on First Nations issues. I would even go so far as to suggest to the Premier of Quebec, François Legault, to take up the challenge, to make his mark and propose the holding of such a meeting to his federal and provincial counterparts during their discussions on March 12 and 13," adds Chief Picard.

"We have another opportunity to learn from a situation that was not desired by anyone, including the Wet'suwet'en Nation, and allow good faith and political will to be put together. This will require "brave people" to do so. That is what we expect from the leaders of this country. We are ready," concluded Chief Picard of the AFNQL.