According to the agreement concluded between Quebec and the Council of the Huron-Wendat Nation, the project was to be co-chaired by the two parties, from nation to nation. We don't have the same definition of “co-presidency”, quips Rémy Vincent. He accuses the provincial government of working in silos and of not respecting its obligation to consult the First Nation.
The Council has reached the point where it cannot no longer knows how to be heard by Quebec. Although it considers itself open to compromise, the council is inflexible on the protection of the virgin forest.
During the interview with Radio-Canada, Rémy Vincent referred to the roadblocks of the Atikamekw communities that occurred in recent months, also to protect the territory ancestral indigenous logging.
I have some news for the minister: the territory does not belong to them. If it takes more than that in the region to be heard, it may start to happen. […] Should we go there? This is not where I want to go. But maybe we will have to do it, because there is no seriousness there.
A quote from Rémy Vincent, great chief of the Huron-Wendat Nation< /blockquote>
A massif of virgin forest designated by the Huron-Wendat Nation
Rémy Vincent recalls that the Wendake project is the first of its kind in Quebec and that the ways of doing things should become the model for others. This is the pilot project, this is what will dictate the way forward for protected areas of indigenous initiative [and sustainable use]. This is where the problem lies. Is it going to be like this for all First Nations? We got off to a bad start.
For its part, the government replies that it takes time to complete the work of preparing the protected area. Setting aside a territory requires a lot of work at the administrative level, which is what was done over the last year, indicates in writing the office of Minister Benoit Charette.
The conservation core to be set aside is only part of the planned sustainable use protected area. Talks will begin once this first step has been completed, we add.
In other words, Quebec intends to consult Wendake, but once the contours of the protected area have been defined. The government says it wants to consult all the stakeholders concerned in the territory before making decisions.
Wendake, for his part, assures that he has already done this work and that all partners, including forestry companies, support the protected area project as it was presented.
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