Un site de la Ville de Montréal

Lieu d'allocution : 
Hôtel de ville de Montréal
Dans le cadre des 10 ans de la déclaration des Nations Unis sur les droits des peuples autochtones

Bonjour à toutes et à tous.

 

J’aimerais commencer en mentionnant que nous sommes ici réunis sur un territoire traditionnel autochtone non cédé.

 

Nous célébrons ce soir et demain le 10e anniversaire de la Déclaration des Nations Unies sur les droits des peuples autochtones — un document historique visant à promouvoir ces droits à travers le monde.

 

Or, ceux-ci ne peuvent être respectés là où il n’y a pas de relation harmonieuse, et, surtout, égalitaire.

 

C’est ce que Zebedee Nungak démontre magistralement dans le livre qu’il nous présente aujourd’hui.

 

C’est un grand plaisir pour moi d’accueillir M. Nungak, dont le récent ouvrage retrace un pan méconnu de notre histoire : la bataille que les Inuits ont dû mener dans les années 1970, et qui a abouti à la Convention de la Baie-James et du Nord québécois.

 

It's not every day that we organize a book launch at Montréal's city hall. However, on the anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, it seems to me very right to invite into this hall of honour an illustrious representative of the Inuit — a man who has been able to bring his people to centre stage in our province.

 

Mr. Nungak became a major figure in Nunavik through his fight for the independence of its people. He vigorously defended the territorial rights of the Inuit. In doing so, he contributed to undoing the colonialist vision which long prevailed and which, unfortunately, still prevailed 45 years ago.

 

Moreover, he doesn't mince words when reminding us of this in his writings. The author's criticisms, sprinkled through the pages, remind us of the chasm that then separated our peoples. They allow us to see the Inuit side of the coin.

 

That point of view was little understood in the “South” — too little.

And these are truths that are not necessarily pleasant to hear.

But to become real friends, we must know how to say “real things”.

 

La relation entre Montréal et les Inuits demeure relativement récente. Elle date justement des négociations de la Convention de la Baie-James et du Nord québécois.

 

After the signature of this agreement, the Makivik Corporation was created, along with its subsidiaries First Air and Air Inuit, the Kativik School Board, the Avataq Cultural Institute and the Ivirtivik socio-professional integration project.

 

All these organizations established offices in the metropolis. As a result, the southern urban Inuit community now numbers nearly 1,200 people.

 

The Inuit who live and work here offer us a great gateway to the North. Meeting you forges links for us with a people from whom we have a lot to learn.

 

This year, Montréal has begun an important reconciliation process with all Indigenous peoples.

 

In concrete terms, it means that we want to recognize and highlight the history of indigenous peoples, and improve our relations based on equality, nation to nation.

 

Thus the time has come to write a new chapter in your relationship with Montréal.

 

Si l’on ne peut pas refaire l’histoire, on peut façonner un avenir meilleur. Alors, en ce beau mardi après-midi, je vous dis « Let’s talk ».

 

Engageons-nous ensemble dans un nouveau dialogue basé sur le respect mutuel et la fierté.

 

Merci.