The first Gathering of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador’s (AFNQL) youth will be held in August of 2001. Between three hundred fifty and five hundred young delegates and observers from all of our communities, from Quebec Native Women and from urban centers will get together to share their projects, their hopes and their dreams. This initiative is the result of a decision made by representatives from the communities and organizations at the Second AFNQL Youth Forum, held on last March 17th.
The representatives have decided to hold this first Gathering on the Cree land of Waswanipi rather than in a city. I know this proves their attachment to the land, and to all it represents for us and for our cultures.
There are times when we can feel that very important things are happening for the future of our people and we must take part in it.
These young representatives, men and women, will realize the responsibility of being your delegates, of being the messengers of your expectations, your hopes, or your despairs… I know that they will do it with all the respect and the quality of being a good listener that are part of our culture and of our traditions.
The delegates that you will choose will need your full support and the support of our leaders in order to successfully carry out their mission to their fullest capacity.
“We first had a meeting last February when the Summit in Quebec city occurred. The Quebec government already had an agenda planned out for us and the youth of the First Nations didn’t have a very clear voice in it. It was very insensitive to the youth. This time we know more will come out of it because we had a say in preparing the agenda and we will have a loud and clear voice at the meeting itself. There are a lot of people who will help to make this meeting as successful as possible.” Ashley Iserhoff said (Youth Grand Chief)
During the first Youth gathering in December of last year, certain decisions were taken about the future AFNGL youth gathering.
Here are the decisions that were taken:
-The first great Gathering of the AFNQL s Youth will be held on August 7th, 8th and 9th, 2001.
-The Gathering and the Forum applies to boys and girls between 15 and 30 years old.
-The Gathering will be held in a community.
-The choice of the community will be made through an application tender.
-Community delegations, and those from the six Quebec Friendship Centers, will be formed of one boy and one girl chosen by their community or their Friendship Center. — As for the Quebec Native Women Association, the delegation will be 2 young representatives. Financial aid for traveling and accommodation for these two official delegates will be covered by the AFNQL.
Each organization, association and community may, at its own expense, send to the Gathering a maximum of eight observers to accompany its official delegates.
Orania Gros-Louis drew the logo of the AFNQL. It signifies many things.
For starters, the north feather represents the Eagle that represents North America. The south feather represents the Condor that represents South America. The ten tears reflect the ten Nations of Quebec and Labrador flowing from the heart of the Eagle and the Condor.
The medicine wheel signifies the four directions and the equilibrium we need to achieve: spiritually, physically, emotionally and mentally. These four worlds united ensure a sense of well being for all individuals.
The Circle unites all the elements to create a union, uniformity, emphasizing that everyone is equal in this Circle of life.
In completion surrounding the unity are the Sun and the Moon, the gifts from the Creator.
The logo represents the Prophecy that today’s First Nations Youth of Quebec and Labrador are united.
Lets hope that the first great youth gathering will be a success for all of us.