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Development of Forestry and Wildlife Resources

SIGNING OF AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF QUÉBEC AND THE BAND COUNCIL OF THE MICMACS OF GESGAPEGIAG

Gesgapegiag, June 29, 2000 -Mr. Guy Chevrette, Minister of Transport, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Minister for Wildlife and Parks, and Mr. Jacques Brassard, Minister of Natural Resources, are pleased to announce today the signing of an agreement with the Band Council of the Micmacs of Gesgapegiag concerning the enhancement and development of forestry and wildlife resources, in the Baldwin Township and Lake Sainte-Anne sectors, located in Baie des Chaleurs.

The aim of the agreement is to establish a process between Québec and Gesgapegiag to ensure the contribution of the Micmacs to the management and enhancement of forestry and wildlife resources as well as to the development of a Micmac expertise in this field.  Moreover, this agreement seeks to promote the social, cultural and economic development of the Community of Gesgapegiag.

In concrete terms, the agreement provides for the setting up of a steering committee that will see to the preparation of a draft integrated forestry and wildlife resource development plan for the territory of Baldwin Township. As for the territory of Lake Sainte-Anne, the agreement stipulates that the Government of Québec and the Band Council of the Micmacs of Gesgapegiag will undertake discussions pertaining to the management and enhancement of this territory, within a maximum time period of six months following the signing of this agreement.

Moreover, the Government of Québec will facilitate, through existing programs, the carrying out of specific development projects or studies stipulated in the sectorial agreement, that will promote, among other things, manpower training and job creation for the Micmacs of Gesgapegiag.

In February 1999, the Government of Québec and the Micmacs of Gesgapegiag signed a framework agreement that defines the general context for relations between Québec and this Micmac community. The parties then identified the sectors of common interest deemed to be a priority and for which they agreed to undertake negotiations.  The agreement reached today is the first sectorial agreement ensuing from the Québec-Gesgapegiag framework agreement.

Minister Chevrette emphasized that "this agreement is just another example of the desire on the part of the Government of Québec to promote the participation of the Aboriginal communities in the enhancement and development of natural resources. It also consolidates the commitment made last year, between Québec and Gesgapegiag, in favor of the preservation of harmonious relations and a partnership with regional circles".

"The agreement will make possible the integrated development of the natural  resources of the territory in question, within a sustainable development perspective  for the benefit of local communities", concluded Minister Brassard.

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SOURCES:

Louise B. Accolas
Press attaché
Office of Minister Jacques Brassard
(418) 643-7295

Édith Rochette
Press attaché
Office of Minister Guy Chevrette
(418) 643-6980
For information:

Maurice Carrier
Direction des communications
Ministère des Ressources naturelles
(418) 627-8609
Signature gouvernementale
Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones
905, avenue Honoré-Mercier, 1er étage - Québec (Qc)  G1R 5M6 - 418 643-3166
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