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Summit on Addictions Among the First Nations of Quebec

“Mobilizing around genuine change”

Trois-Rivieres, Quebec – Feb. 3, 2011 – More than 400 First Nations members coming from various communities came together this week in order to combat addictions which are threatening the future of our First Nations.”We are at the breaking point – we must put a stop to it immediately. That is the conclusion we have come to in our lives; that is what the statistics are telling us. We also know that we must first and foremost count on ourselves to remedy the situation” declared the Chief of the AFNQL, Mr. Ghislain Picard. “We have gathered here this week, youth and Elders, men and women, with our various skills and experiences, and we know that the end of this Summit this morning must mark the beginning of a massive commitment on our behalf” added Chief Picard.

The First Nation members are returning to their communities and the cities where they live both stimulated and concerned, yet definitely focused on taking action. In fact, they have worked hard and in a concerted fashion over the course of the three days in order to identify, and commit themselves to, approximately 30 concrete actions. Each individual, each of our elected officials and our partners will be the vectors of essential change.

Anne St-Onge, President of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission, underlined the wealth of our culture and our own identities as a source of inspiration and a decisive healing factor.

Stanley Vollant, Innu physician-surgeon from Pessamit, insisted that “We must promote healthy lifestyles among the children, the youth, the elected officials, those in charge of education as well as the general population.”

This sustained effort will be supported by an engagement plan based on the report and recommendations of the Summit. In closing, the Chiefs of the First Nations of Quebec agreed to support all actions that will require political support.

For more information, please contact

Chantal Cleary
Communication Officer