Innu leaders have gone to the United Nations to denounce Quebec for its “double-standard” in dealing with Native peoples.
“On one side, the premier of Quebec and his predecessor Jacques Parizeau loudly proclaim that Quebecers have a sacred right as a people to decide their future,” said Innu lawyer Armand McKenzie in Geneva, Switzerland.
“But these same leaders who want the Quebec people’s inherent right to self-determination recognized refuse to recognize this fundamental right for the Aboriginal peoples of the province of Quebec,” said McKenzie, a spokesman for Mamit Innuat.
Mamit Innuat represents five Innu communities: La Romaine, Mingan, Natashquan, Pakuashipi and Matimekosh.
McKenzie called the Quebec government “neocolonialist,” “dishonest” and “racist.” The Innu are angry that their land-claim negotiations with Quebec have produced no results after 20 years.
“Listen to us well,” he added in an interview with La Presse.
“We don’t believe the Quebecers are colonialists or racists, but rather the separatist political leaders, who spread the idea that what’s good for the Quebecers isn’t good for the Natives. We believe a majority of Quebecers want these problems solved.
“But we also believe that the government of Lucien Bouchard is risking its credibility by acting like this.”