International Day of the World's
Indigenous Peoples - Chief Ghislain Picard calls for
Condensed by Native Village
Quebec: A call for indigenous solidarity was made during last month's "International Day of theWorld's Indigenous Peoples. The call was made by Chief Ghislain Picard from the Assembly of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador. He announced:
"Peoples in every region of the world are engaged in a struggle to preserve their identity, their rights, their languages and their cultures. They are also engaged in a struggle to ensure their development and the future of their children. Governments and States in every region of the world, including the one where I live, are to this day, in 2009, displaying a clearly colonialist attitude and are systematically treating the rights and identity of Indigenous peoples with contempt. This must stop.
"The Indigenous peoples can rely only on themselves, their own strengths and their solidarity to ensure their future. We welcomed the colonialists, we extended our hand to them and we turned the other cheek. Now it is time for the Indigenous peoples to do what must be done so that they will be taken seriously. I am today launching a call for solidarity among us and I intend to make this solidarity a personal objective.
"The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a step in the right direction, but one that Canada, with Quebec hiding behind it, refuses to take. Some reactionary States, including Canada, are working by an agreement to keep Indigenous peoples in dependency and to pursue a policy of assimilation, one of the preferred tools of colonialists."
The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador has a strong and growing international presence among Indigenous Peoples and those representing them. Picard is inviting all Indigenous peoples to join together and strengthen their ties in support of one another.