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Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones
Home > Press centre > Press releases > 2015 > March 5, 2015

Ministers Geoffrey Kelley and Stéphanie Vallée meet with chief Gilbert Whiteduck in Kitigan Zibi

Quebec City, March 5, 2015 – The Minister responsible for Native Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Kelley, and the MNA for Gatineau, Minister of Justice, Minister responsible for the Status of Women and Minister responsible for the Outaouais Region, Ms. Stéphanie Vallée, travelled to Kitigan Zibi last Tuesday to meet with the local chief, Mr. Gilbert Whiteduck, and several department heads.

The ministers and Chief Whiteduck took the opportunity, during this meeting, to share their perspectives on various issues affecting the community, and to share their impressions on the National Roundtable on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women which they all had attended the previous Friday. The ministers and the chief also discussed issues that are of critical importance to the members of the Kitigan Zibi community, including the need for new economic development projects.

“I am delighted to have been able to visit the Kitigan Zibi community, and to continue to engage in a constructive and mutually respectful dialogue with the Chief and the department heads on the challenges they face. It is important to me to visit First Nations communities, to meet with the residents and gain a better understanding of their reality. We were fortunate enough to be able to visit the beautiful Kikinamadinan, a dynamic and successful school which houses both elementary and high school students.  Their academic performance is a source of pride for the entire community,” stated Minister Kelley.

“As the Member of the National Assembly for Gatineau and the Minister responsible for the Outaouais Region, I am proud to have in my riding a community like Kitigan Zibi, which contributes so positively to the socio-economic development of the region with many innovative projects. The Algonquins are a dynamic people, hard-working and proudly determined to provide the members of their community with a better and brighter future. I would like to acknowledge the dedication of Chief Whiteduck, of the Band Council and of the entire community,” added Minister Vallée.

“I am happy that the ministers visited our community,” Chief Whiteduck said. “They were able to see for themselves the projects we have implemented to develop our community, foster solid partnerships and ensure that our children have a wonderful future to look forward to.”

Mr. Kelley and Ms. Vallée also met with Verna Polson, the Grand Chief of the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation Tribal Council. The ministers and the Grand Chief discussed issues of importance for the communities which are part of the Tribal Council, such as the preservation of the Algonquin language and culture, and the need to create and implement stimulating socio-economic development projects for the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation.

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