WENDAKE, QC, March 3, 2023 /CNW/ – The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) denounces the identity appropriation of Native Alliance of Quebec Inc. (NAQ), a group falsely claiming to represent the interests of off reserve Indigenous people and stands by Kitigan Zibi Chief Dylan Whiteduck in condemning the appropriation of Indigenous funds by the federal government, which NAQ has used to host a special event in Gatineau from March 1st – 4th, 2023 "Rendez-vous des nations" in Gatineau.
The AFNQL, where all 43 First Nations sit, represented by their respective nations, intends to shed light on these small groups that seem to be growing like weeds. To date, the position of First Nations has always been the following; in Quebec, any so-called Indigenous person is part of a nation or not. There is no in between, no compromise.
"It is nothing new that non-Indigenous people or groups call themselves Indigenous, the point being that it is clearly an identity fraud. These groups of non-indigenous people are accessing government funding meant for Indigenous people, who are already underfunded in so many ways and already have limited resources," explains Ghislain Picard, Chief of the AFNQL. "The AFNQL will be hosting the "Grand Rassemblement", bringing together Chiefs and mayors; Indigenous Chiefs and communities should be the only legitimate people and groups to host such gatherings." he added.
Unfortunately, the NAQ event "Rendez-vous des nations" is extremely misleading as they hired recognized Indigenous artists and headliners to showcase at their event. Despite the event not being approved or supported by the local host community Kitigan Zibi, the group, which denounced the cultural appropriation of this group which also sells membership cards for fifty ($50) dollars.
"It is not acceptable that these groups or organizations find their way to utilising funding or resources originally allocated for Indigenous people right here on our own unceded lands/territory," says Chief Dylan Whiteduck. "I urge the city of Gatineau to take immediate action and ensure this does not happen, and build a stronger, long-lasting, and mutually beneficial relation with Indigenous people also means to recognize who the legitimate Indigenous people are, and not be participants in fraudulent cultural appropriation such as this." he added.
With the upcoming gathering between Chiefs and municipalities in Gatineau later this month, the AFNQL supports Kitigan Zibi in calling upon governments to take immediate action in ensuring that such events do not take place again in the future and that Indigenous funds actually go to legitimate Indigenous people or groups.
About the AFNQL
The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador is the regional political organization that brings together the 43 Chiefs of the First Nations in Quebec and Labrador (https://apnql.com/en/).
SOURCE Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador