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The First Nations and Québec municipalities advocate resoundingly for reconciliation


The First Nations and Québec municipalities advocate resoundingly for reconciliation

Canada NewsWire

MONTRÉAL, Aug. 30, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - The very first Summit of First Nations and Municipalities on Reconciliation was held today, at Montréal city hall. This historic event took place in the presence of Valérie Plante, mayor of Montréal, of Ghislain Picard, Chief of the Assembly of First Nations of Québec and Labrador, of Alexandre Cusson, President of the Union des municipalités du Québec (UMQ), and of Jacques Demers, President of the Fédération québécoise des municipalités (FQM). Nearly 50 mayors from across Québec, as well as more than half of the chiefs of First Nations also took part in this provincial Summit.

The aim of the Summit was to form bonds, by engaging in a constructive nation-to-nation dialogue towards reconciliation, and by encouraging networking and collaboration between governments and First Nations communities. 

Among other issues, today's discussions focused on:

  • the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;
  • the Calls to Action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and its impact on municipalities;
  • examples of positive partnerships between municipalities and First Nations communities.

"As local governments, cities play an increasingly important role in community management, a responsibility that is reflected through territorial relations and partnerships. Montréal fully embraces this leadership role and takes a new step towards the historic reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. This historic Summit reflects Montréal's ambition to become a true metropolis of reconciliation, and to implement a paradigm shift by including the "Indigenous Reflex" in the city's action plans and policies. We perceive reconciliation as a necessary process towards a fair and inclusive society. Respect for every individual's differences and dignity is essential to the expression and enhancement of diversity in our metropolis," said Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montréal.

"Following this first meeting, I would like to thank Mayor Valérie Plante, the Ville de Montréal and the leaders of the Kanien'kehá:ka Nation for their hospitality, I would also like to thank the mayors of municipalities and the First Nations chiefs who have accepted to take on the challenge of reconciliation. We are all aware that we must exercise our powers to establish the bases for ongoing dialogue and to promote a close and harmonious rapport between our populations," said Ghislain Picard, Chief of the AFNQL.

"Local governments play an important role daily in the reconciliation process. They are at the forefront of issues impacting the quality of life of the population and can act concretely to create harmonious and respectful ties with Indigenous peoples. The UMQ wishes to continue to work towards reaching reconciliation goals with First Nations, thus building a better future for all and for generations to come," stated Alexandre Cusson, President of the UMQ.

"The event that brings us all here today eloquently expresses the importance we collectively place on dialogue regarding reconciliation. Through our daily actions, we strive to unify our common values, share our objectives of justice and peace, and consider creating an environment in which living together becomes a symbol of promise for the future of Québec, and more particularly for our youth," added Jacques Demers, President of the FQM.

The commitments made during this first summit:

The Ville de Montréal, the AFNQL, the UMQ and the FQM commit to:

  • Create a Commitments Follow-Up Committee which will include representatives of the four initiators of the Summit.
  • Hold the Summit annually in order to pursue the dialogue in a continuing fashion.
  • Promote and disseminate best practices of collaboration between municipalities and First Nations councils through their communication tools.
  • Collaborate to provide training for elected municipal officials on the history and realities of Aboriginal peoples.

The Ville de Montréal, the UMQ and the FQM commit to:

  • Invite the Chiefs of the First Nations to participate in some of their forums.
  • Recognize the past, present and future presence of Aboriginal peoples.

The UMQ commits to:

  • Raise the awareness of elected representatives on the issues of reconciliation in its political forums.
  • Promote collaborations between municipalities and First Nations councils and disseminate information on their governance.

The FQM commits to:

  • Promote among municipalities the implementation of the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
  • Work on the creation of a committee on reconciliation within its forums.

The Ville de Montréal commits to:

  • Provide a secretariat for the Follow-Up Committee mentioned above.
  • Pursue its commitment in favour of reconciliation.

The AFNQL commits to:

  • Promote collaborations between First Nations councils and municipalities and disseminate information on the special status of Local Government of the municipalities.
  • Invite municipal elected official to participate in certain meetings of its forums.


SOURCE Ville de Montréal - Cabinet de la mairesse et du comité exécutif

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