A prominent Quebec environmentalist group has distanced herself from the Crees in the wake of Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come’s visit to Washington in September.

Daphna Castel, head of the group Mouvement Au Courant, accused the Grand Chief of insulting Quebecers with his speech. “We were surprised and dismayed to see in your address what we feel is a disparaging attitude towards Quebec,” Castel wrote in a letter sent to major Quebec media.

“It would seem that you believe that Quebec society cannot be trusted to accord the civic respect and the protection of your people’s rights in the way that you imagine Canada does.”

Castel and her group have been active in fighting the proposed Great Whale River Project.

In the speech, Grand Chief Coon Come had asked Washington government officials to watch closelyQuebec’s treatment of native peoples in coming months. Especially worrisome, he said, were comments by PQ politicians threatening natives with police and courts if they refused to accept an independent Quebec.