Quebec: Atikamekw First Nation Declares Sovereignty Over Its Territory

QUEBEC - The Atikamekw First Nation has declared its sovereignty over 80,000 square kilometres of territory and says any development in that area must get its approval.

Armed with a Supreme Court of Canada judgment recognizing ancestral rights for First Nations in British Columbia, the Atikamekw want to have their say on projects located in the Nitaskinan region.

"Gone are the days of negotiating the rights of the Atikametw, which have not been surrendered, for the benefit of a state that imposes its rules as if such rights do not exist," Awashish said at a news conference Monday.

"Our jurisdiction, our rules and our conditions must be respected."

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