Bill 99: First Nations affirm sovereignty and territory integrity against Québec secession

Bill 99: First Nations affirm sovereignty and territory integrity against Québec secession

WENDAKE, QCApril 20, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ – In response to the decision of the Quebec Superior Court to uphold the Act respecting the exercise of the fundamental rights and prerogatives of the Québec people and the Québec State (Bill 99), the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) totally rejects the very foundations of the Quebecprovincial government’s claims contained in Bill 99.

“It is ironic that, 18 years after claiming its right to self-determination in Bill 99, Quebec, which speaks of its ability to take control of its future, has made no progress in recognizing First Nations Aboriginal and Treaty Rights. Demanding for yourself what you deny to others is absurd,” says Ghislain Picard, Chief of the AFNQL, who is not surprised that Indigenous issues are not considered should the debate were to resume where it was left.

These rights, which have always been affirmed by the First Nations, are confirmed by Canada’s Constitution Act, are supported by a body of international instruments, including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

“Nothing has moved forward, Chief Picard continues, the Government of Quebec continues to deny the very existence of First Nations’ title and rights, both in its laws and regulations and in its everyday behaviour. Before claiming to be a State, one must demonstrate the necessary level of maturity to exercise this prerogative, one should gather rather than divide and should also recognize the rights of others rather than despise them. We are a long way from this in today’s Quebec. The debate around Bill 99 and the claims of the province of Quebec is far from over,” concludes Chief Ghislain Picard.

The AFNQL recalls an excerpt from the speech of Chief Ghislain Picard on October 25, 2006 at the opening of the First Nations Socio-Economic Forum: “Whatever they say, whatever they do, the cultures, values and philosophies of our peoples were and are fundamentally different from anything that characterizes Quebec’s dominant society. Let us be clear and say it like it is: I am not Canadian, I am not a Quebecer, I am Innu. »

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.

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