Odanak, June 23, 2022 – Ian Lafrenière, Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs, announced today that the Québec government and the Grand Conseil de la Nation Waban-Aki have entered into a consultation and accommodation agreement.
This agreement establishes a framework that will facilitate consultations between the Québec government and the Abenaki and specifies the framework’s territorial application. Under the agreement, a liaison committee will be formed to ensure the seamless implementation of the mechanisms agreed by the parties.
The agreement further provides for the possibility of negotiating sectoral appendices that would establish consultation processes adapted to specific target sectors. The consultation and accommodation process described in the agreement is guided by fundamental principles such as collaboration, open communication and flexibility.
“By signing this agreement, the Québec government has shown that it recognizes and takes into consideration the Abenaki’s unique realities and that it is determined to move forward in a spirit of understanding and mutual respect. The progress that we achieved today is very promising. I hope that, thanks to this agreement, we will swiftly achieve more concrete results that will benefit the Waban‑Aki Nation in the long term.”
Ian Lafrenière, Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs
“As the agreement’s defined territorial application covers an area where the Nation has maintained a cultural continuity that is recognized and respected by the neighbouring communities to the south of the river, and as it establishes a consultation and accommodation process that is standardized with regard to different governmental entities in Québec, the Nation will be able to better express its members’ concerns and ensure efficient follow-up.”
Richard O’Bomsawin, Chief of the Odanak community
“This agreement is a major step forward for our Nation. The consultation and accommodation process will be applied in a way that we have determined ourselves, to be better adapted to our context. The W8banaki Nation strives to express and share the concerns of its members effectively. It can now do that in an open, flexible and adapted manner.”
Michel Bernard, Chief of the Conseil des Abénakis de Wôlinak