Indigenous leaders denounce Quebec Premier Legault as 'paternalistic,' 'arrogant'

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MONTREAL — Quebec Indigenous leaders are denouncing Premier François Legault for his decision not to meet with them during a two-day event called the Grand Economic Circle of Indigenous People and Quebec.

The Indigenous leaders called the premier "arrogant," "paternalistic" and "dishonest."

They say Legault had only planned to deliver remarks to the gathering but then agreed to take three questions from Indigenous leaders at the end of his speech.

Chief Réal McKenzie asked Legault about royalties owed to Indigenous Peoples in exchange for the use of their lands, and Chief John Martin asked the premier about First Nations communities being excluded from accessing natural resources.

Ghislain Picard, chief of the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador, criticized Legault for speaking with reporters after the speech and for not meeting with Indigenous leadership.

The two-day event aims to bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous business people together.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2021.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press

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