The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) welcomes the action taken by the government of British Columbia, which has just introduced a bill to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
More specifically, the AFNQL would like to congratulate the province's Indigenous organizations that were closely involved in drafting the legislation that, if passed, would make the province the first to have gone this far.
"I am extremely proud of what our sisters and brothers have been able to accomplish with the government of British Columbia. I would like to convey to their leaders and to [Premier John] Horgan our congratulations on this major achievement," said AFNQL Chief Ghislain Picard, who recalled that all governments are called upon to implement the Declaration, which constitutes a minimum threshold for the respect of human and Indigenous rights.
The AFNQL would like to take this opportunity to remind the government of Quebec that it still has a lot of work to do to match what the government of British Columbia has just accomplished. The AFNQL welcomed the motion submitted by Québec Solidaire, unanimously supported by the National Assembly on Oct. 3, which states that the government must "commit to negotiating the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples with First Nations and Inuit."
"We are waiting for concrete action from the Legault government to prevent the motion from turning to dust. Now, the government of Quebec can draw on British Columbia to take action" says Chief Picard.
Remembering that the National Assembly voted in favour of a resolution in 1985, which recognizes the Indigenous Nations and recognizes certain rights for them within Quebec.
"The AFNQL believes that it is now time for Quebec to be at the forefront of the evolution of Indigenous law at the international level and replace this resolution with an implementation of the Declaration. This is the fundamental and legitimate goal that we are pursuing," concluded Picard.
About the AFNQL
The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador is the political organization regrouping 43 Chiefs of the First Nations in Quebec and Labrador.