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Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones

Fifth meeting of the Joint Council of Elected Representatives

Elected representatives lay the foundations for the organization of the Forum on the Social and Economic Development of the First Nations with a taking part of the Inuit

Québec, January 19, 2005 - The co-chairs of the Joint Council of Elected Representatives, Mr. Benoît Pelletier, Minister for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs and Aboriginal Affairs, and Mr. Ghislain Picard, Regional Chief of the Assembly of First Nations of Québec and Labrador (AFNQL), announce the holding of the fifth meeting of the Joint Council of Elected Representatives in Kahnawake, on Thursday, January, 20 2005. Participants will discuss economic development and more specifically, the organization of the Forum on the Social and Economic Development of the First Nations with a taking part of the Inuit.

The Government of Québec will be represented by Minister Benoît Pelletier, Mr. Yves Séguin, Minister of Finance, and Mr. Karl Blackburn, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Economic and Regional Development. As for the AFNQL, Mr. Ghislain Picard will be accompanied by Mr. Raphaël Picard, Chief of Betsiamites, and Mr. Lloyd Phillips, Assistant-Grand Chief of Kahnawake.

With the theme of economic development as a backdrop, elected representatives will use this fifth meeting to discuss the organization of the Forum on the Social and Economic Development of the First Nations with a taking part of the Inuit. The creation of a joint entity that will be mandated to prepare this major event will be examined.

According to Mr. Benoît Pelletier, “we are about to lay the foundations for the organization of a forum that is one of a kind. This is the first time in Québec that we are organizing an event that will allow the Aboriginal peoples and the representatives of Québec to discuss together the development of the First Nations and the Inuit.

It should be recalled that during the Forum des générations held on October 12, 13 and 14, 2004, Premier Jean Charest made a commitment, with representatives of the Government of Québec, the First Nations with a taking part of the Inuit, as well as various regional stakeholders and leaders, to hold such a forum in 2005.

For Regional Chief Ghislain Picard, “the Forum on Social and Economic Development must commit all governments and the decision-makers of the private sector to support the First Nations and the Inuit in order to improve the socioeconomic conditions of our populations. The Forum must produce tangible commitments that will help make up for the lost ground by the populations of the First Nations and Inuit in recent years.

At the end of the January 20th meeting, the elected representatives will examine the assessment of the five years of operation of the Aboriginal Development Fund (ADF) presented at the meeting held on May 6, 2004. They will also discuss their interest in maintaining the dialogue and continuing the Council’s work.

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Sources:
Damir Croteau
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs and Aboriginal Affairs
Tel.: (418) 646-5950

Alain Garon
Information and Communication Agent
Assembly of First Nations of Québec and Labrador
Tel.: (418) 842-5020

Signature gouvernementale
Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones
905, avenue Honoré-Mercier, 1er étage - Québec (Qc)  G1R 5M6 - 418 643-3166

Online as if : January 19, 2005