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WENDAKE, QC, Aug. 23, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ – Despite the initial doubts that were expressed on the relevance of the existence of such a commission, the Assembly of First Nations of QuebecLabrador (AFNQL) would like to highlight the work carried out by the Independent Commission on Woodland and Mountain Caribou (hereinafter the Commission).

The AFNQL particularly welcomes the clear rejection of the no additional impact scenario, which would have potentially led to the disappearance of the Val-d’Or, Charlevoix and Pipmuacan herds. It also highlights the fact that the Commission indicated in its report the need for the future Strategy for the Management of Caribou and their Habitat to take into account the particular attachment of First Nations to the species, their traditional knowledge and the potential impacts on their rights.

As well, the AFNQL notes that the Commission recognizes the essential partnership that the government is required to establish with First Nations in the respect of their constitutionally recognized rights. Their close cooperation is essential to the achievement of these objectives and requires that the Crown implement a true consultation process with First Nations in order to fulfill its duty to consult and accommodate.

In this sense, it is important to remember that First Nations in Quebec are not simply stakeholders in the management of the territory and its resources. They are rights holders and have been willing for a long time to make all the necessary efforts to ensure the protection of woodland and mountain caribou on their territories. For many of them, the caribou is at the heart of their identities, their cultures and their ways of life.

Finally, the AFNQL agrees with the Commission on the urgency to act. The Commission’s conclusions and recommendations clearly show that there is sufficient knowledge about the caribou to take action. It is now time for the Quebec government to assume its responsibilities and take concrete action to protect the woodland and mountain caribou.

About the AFNQL

The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador is the regional political organization that brings together 43 First Nations Chiefs in Quebec and Labrador.

About the FNQLSDI

The First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Sustainable Development Institute (FNQLSDI) was created in 2000 by the Chiefs of the AFNQL. Its mission is to offer First Nations a dynamic service hub, supporting their actions towards maintaining healthy territories and resources, developing sustainable communities and promoting the recognition of their rights.

SOURCE Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador

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