Renewal or continuity at the head of the Atikamekw Nation?

Constant Awashish has already done well at the head of the Atikamekw Nation Council with two terms behind the tie. However, he believes that he has still a lot of work to do.

The person who declared the sovereignty of the Atikamekw over their ancestral territory is rather satisfied with the actions of the DACs carried out so far.

The Grand Chief and President of the Atikamekw Nation, Constant Awashish, spoke at the ceremony commemorating the death of Joyce Echaquan, which occurred a year earlier.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Ivanoh Demers

But his priority will be governance issues. It must be said that in 2021, the community of Wemotaci, one of the three Atikamekw communities represented by the DACshas decided to cut ties with the national body.

Qualified as obsolete, accused of interference, the DACs no longer met the needs of Wemotaci, according to the band council. However, Constant Awashish asserts that people want a national institution and is committed to improving the communication of the DACs with the Atikamekw communities.

Guy Niquay goes even further. The current assistant to the CEO of the CIUSSS de Lanaudière, who announces that he will leave this position if he is elected, says to himself atikamekw nationalist.

Carol Dubé accompanied by Guy Niquay in front of Parliament.

Guy Niquay alongside Carol Dubé who tragically lost his wife, Joyce Echaquan.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Hugo Belanger

ans à Manawan. Les trois communautés sont importantes, il faut qu’elles puissent avancer et travailler ensemble pour que les Atikamekw soient plus forts dans la défense de l’intérêt de la nation”,”text”:”Ma mère vient d’Opitciwan, mon père de Wemotaci et moi je demeure depuis 40ans à Manawan. Les trois communautés sont importantes, il faut qu’elles puissent avancer et travailler ensemble pour que les Atikamekw soient plus forts dans la défense de l’intérêt de la nation”}}”>My mother comes from Opitciwan, my father from Wemotaci and I have lived in Manawan for 40 years. The three communities are important, they must be able to move forward and work together so that the Atikamekw are stronger in defending the interests of the nation.launches the one who poses as a unifier.

For his part, Contant Awashish points out that the band councils are creatures of the federal government, while the DACs represents the takeover of power by the Atikamekw.

We have to pool knowledge and coordinate all that. We must fight for real self-determination and not just a transfer of poweranswers the current grand chief who thinks he represents one of the most united nations of Quebec.

For his part, Guy Niquay deplores rather that no hand was extended to Wemotaci under the mandate of Mr. Awashish. During the general assembly of April 6, the grand chief was asked to summon Wemotaci to listen to what they ask and what they want, but this was not done.he says.

A man is holding a tree trunk.

The issue of logging in the Atikamekw territory is one of the important subjects for the CNA.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Marie-Laure Josselin

the DACs is seen by the two candidates as a means of putting pressure on the government, particularly in Quebec, in a united manner.

We know that the government negotiates with a nation and not with the communitiessays Mr. Niquay.

The government does not want to understand that we are a solution to the labor shortage, for example. He needs to stop seeing us as a financial burden. We are a good long-term investmentreplies Mr. Awashish.

The latter still intends to put the youth forward. He thinks she is bearer of our sovereignty.

The Atikamekw territory of Wemotaci

The Atikamekw territory of Wemotaci.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Marie-Laure Josselin

Mr. Niquay assures him that he does not want to forget anyone and insists on the fact that both the Atikamekw living in the communities and those in the major centers must be represented and defended.

Constant Awashish is also banking heavily on the latest accomplishments of his two previous terms as Grand Chief.

The Atikamekw nation has never been so presenthe says, recalling that she has regained control of youth protection and is participating in the pilot project of a court specializing in sexual and domestic violence.

The two men still have a few weeks to travel through the three communities and meet the members. Both had pamphlets printed and affixed placards bearing their effigy.

Advance voting will be held on August 29 and Election Day is scheduled for September 6. All community members of voting age will be able to speak. The participation rate in 2018 was 38.5%.

The candidates:

Constant Awashish

  • 41 years.
  • Father of three children.
  • Holder of a law degree from the University of Ottawa.
  • Former consultant and agent at the University of Ottawa, bearer of the youth dossier at the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador, honorary colonel of the 62nd field artillery regiment of Shawinigan. His slogan: Mamo icikowisk icitcimetan (Together, let’s go straight ahead).

Guy Niquay

  • 52 years.
  • Father of five children.
  • Holder of a baccalaureate in physical activity from the University of Quebec in Chicoutimi.
  • Former youth worker and former principal of the Manawan primary school, former strategic advisor for external relations to the band council.
  • His slogan : Kitci awacamec miro matisinaniok (For a better quality of life for all).

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