FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AFNQL and FNEC Condemn Media Attack on First Nations for History Textbook Changes Across Quebec
Wendake, November 22, 2018 – The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) and the First Nations Education Council (FNEC) wish to address the journalists, academics and historians who recently confronted First Nations, in various forums, on the changes made to history textbooks, and in particular regarding certain derogatory terms used in them.
First of all, to say that these changes are the result of lobbying is incorrect. On the contrary, we were invited by the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur (MEES) to take part in advisory committees as part of a complete review of the history program which was by no means limited to First Nations. We considered the process to be an opportunity for discussion and collaboration with various education partners in Quebec.
Moreover, FNEC representatives who sat on these advisory committees have substantial expertise in the field, contrary to what was insinuated by certain members of the media.
FNEC Director General, Lise Bastien said, “While our suggestions were the result of several years of careful work, it is unfortunate that the people who made comments in the media did not consider the facts and references even though they had been presented on many occasions, and that they again chose to make First Nations scapegoats.”
AFNQL Chief, Ghislain Picard stated, “This is 2018, and we are not a lobby. The regressive and colonial rhetoric presented to us in the media recently, which claims that political correctness in history cannot be brought about, no longer holds sway. We will not let anyone tell us what terms should be used or not used when it comes to the history of our peoples and our nations. This is a warning for those who want to teach us a lesson. It is high time to stop giving a one-sided view of history seen through the eyes of the conqueror.”
About the AFNQL
The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador is a political organization consisting of 43 First Nations chiefs in Quebec and Labrador. Follow us on Twitter @APNQL.
About the FNEC
For over 30 years, the FNEC has been working to fulfill the right of First Nations to have complete authority over their education through the implementation of an education system that has adequate resources, and that is developed and managed according to their values and cultures. Further information is available at www.cepn-fnec.com
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Communications Officer, AFNQL Communications Counsellor, FNEC
Mobile: 418-254-4620 Telephone: 418-842-7672 ext. 3001