A native of Mashteuiatsh and twenty Obedjiwan achieved a partial blockade of Highway 167 in the Ashuapmushuan Monday.
The spokesman of the group, Michael Cleary, asking the Prime Minister Philippe Couillard not sign the treaty because it does not respect the will of some native. “It is said that the consultations will take place after the signing. It does not work like that, it is necessary that negotiations do before otherwise we will lose aboriginal rights. It is illegal the way. They plan to regulate hunting in the territory by forcing us to have permits and register our decision. For the Innu is the sacred hunting ceremony, it will come off our rights, “he said.
Monday morning, at dawn, a native of twenties stood on the roadside and traffic slowed to signify their presence. Everything was done peacefully. The police monitored the actions ensuring opponents and motorist safety.
A few meters from the road, two tents were built. Some spent the night to mark their commitment to prevent the signing of the Treaty.
The Awashish family, which has more than 1200 members in Obedjiwan, afraid to lose rights if the agreement is signed. “We were afraid it looks like a second Convention of the James Bay and we lose important rights. We do not want to sign it. And request the intervention of Philippe Couillard. Also, a formal notice was sent to the Mashteuiatsh Band Council to prevent them from signing the treaty, “said François Awashish.
According to opponents, the deal would cause areas of overlap between nations. Atikamekw, which are not included in this project would suffer inconvenience if the territory of Nistassinan was protected and that modifications were applied on how to hunt, trap and fish.
The approach could grow. A symbolic march took place on the North Shore this weekend. A young Betsiamites moved. Steeped in tradition, he resumed his name given by a shaman rather than that of a civilian or Otcekipanckw Pishshsish. He fears losing its culture.
Michael Cleary informs that other actions are expected. The group does not intend to make the monthly meetings of the band council to try to discuss. “We already did. And there is no openness. It is not as highly transparent approach. The right to speak is very limited, “he laments.