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Québec City, April 2, 2021- Negotiations on moose hunting in the Réserve faunique La Vérendrye, aimed at ensuring social peace and the preservation of the resource, resulted today in an agreement in principle between the Government of Québec and the Algonquin community chiefs on interim measures to be implemented. This agreement, which provides a framework for hunting activities over the next few years, will allow the parties to continue discussions in order to reach a permanent solution.
From the first days following his appointment in October 2020, the Minister responsible for Indigenous Affairs, Ian Lafrenière, has been working to calm the situation surrounding moose hunting in the Réserve faunique La Vérendrye. To this end, in the fall of 2020, an experienced negotiator, Mario Gibeault, was appointed to represent the Quebec government.
The channels of discussion with the Algonquin Nation have remained open at all times in recent months, and numerous political meetings have been held between the Minister and the Algonquin chiefs, in parallel with negotiation sessions. All of these initiatives have resulted in agreement in principle on several points: the modalities of sport hunting, the acquisition and sharing of knowledge on the status of the moose population, awareness of the preservation of the resource and training on the status of the moose. The process will be spread over four years and will begin with a moratorium to allow for mutually agreed upon studies that will assess the status of the moose population. A return to current standards may be achieved in the fourth year, 2024, dependant upon the results of the studies. By April 15, 2021, the Algonquin chiefs must consult with their community members, in order to respect their rights, before any agreement is signed. Details will be provided once the agreement has been ratified.
The government was determined to achieve its main objectives in this file, namely to counter the deterioration of the social climate in the region and to contribute to a better way of living together for the benefit of all stakeholders. On both sides of the negotiating table, everyone affirmed the desire to put in place guidelines to prevent a situation similar to the one experienced last fall from happening again. The Algonquins have clearly stated that they need to be full partners in the management of the herd. However, the adoption of interim measures is necessary to quickly ease the tension and allow for longer-term negotiations to work out some details.
“We will continue discussions with the cchiefs in a spirit of conciliation and collaboration, and would like to see an agreement signed in the next few weeks that would complement the agreement on the interim measures we have agreed to today. No one wants a repeat of last fall’s situation, and I think everyone is relieved that the tension is easing and that solutions are coming. I am hopeful that this agreement will lead to a collaborative and mutually respectful arrangement between the Government of Quebec and the Aboriginal communities in the region. ”
Ian Lafrenière, Minister responsible for Aboriginal Affairs
“As Grand Chief of the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation Tribal Council, we feel that this process of negotiation is on the right track. We feel that there are details that still need to be worked out, and consultation with the members must take place before the interim measures and a final agreement are concluded.”
Grand Chief Verna Polson, Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation Tribal Council
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