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Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones

Partnership, Development, Achievement



QUÉBEC CITY, April 2, 1998 - The Minister of State for Natural Resources, Minister for the Regions and Minister responsible for Aboriginal Affairs, Guy Chevrette, today released the Québec government's new guidelines concerning aboriginal affairs. The guidelines are contained in a paper entitled Partnership, Development, Achievement and are part of a new approach the Québec government wishes to develop with aboriginal nations.

The proposed new approach essentially seeks to offer a set of tools for partnership, development and concrete achievements with aboriginal communities. A further objective is the creation of a political forum for debate, discussion and concerted action between aboriginal and non-aboriginal elected officials.

These guidelines on aboriginal affairs are consistent with the philosophy underlying the political initiatives taken by the Québec government in 1983 and 1985, namely the 15 principles adopted by Cabinet on February 9, 1983 and the resolution on the recognition of the rights of aboriginal people passed by the Québec National Assembly on March 20, 1985.

"Today we have taken a new step to give effect to the commitments we made at that time as parliamentarians," Mr. Chevrette said. "We want to enable aboriginal people to play an active part in the economic life of Québec. With them, we want to build a partnership that will allow them to develop their own economic levers. We want to offer them a set of tools they can use to develop self-government and financial self-sufficiency."

Broad objectives of the government guidelines

The government's new guidelines regarding aboriginal affairs have three broad objectives: harmonious relations based on mutual trust and respect between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people, more self-government and increased financial self-sufficiency of aboriginal people.

The approach proposed by the Québec government emphasizes reaching agreements with aboriginal communities for development and the assumption of responsibility, and implementing measures to create conditions that are more conducive to economic development and job creation among aboriginal people.

"The government's perspective in adopting these new guidelines is one of fairness," Mr. Chevrette mentioned. "Aboriginal and non-aboriginal populations must have access to the same living conditions, the same general conditions for development and a fair share of our collective wealth, while allowing aboriginal people to protect and develop their cultural identity."

The four components of the action strategy

The Québec government has put forward a four-part action strategy to give effect to its guidelines and principles:

  • Creation of a political forum for debate, discussion and concerted action;
  • Signature of agreements for development and assumption of responsibility;
  • Creation of a fund for practical community and economic development projects;
  • Measures leading to greater financial self-sufficiency.

"This concrete and pragmatic approach will help meet those needs considered priorities for the communities, and make up some lost ground," the Minister indicated. "This is an evolving approach in which each aboriginal community can participate according to its own priorities. It is innovative and will produce tangible results."

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Shirley Bishop
Attachée de presse
(418) 644-5846
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Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones
905, avenue Honoré-Mercier, 1er étage - Québec (Qc)  G1R 5M6 - 418 643-3166
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