WENDAKE, April 7, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Fristly, the Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) wishes to express his sincere sympathies to the family of Sandy Michel as well as to the people of the community of Lac Simon, once again facing another human tragedy. The AFNQL also offers its support to Chief Salomée McKenzie and the Council in this terrible event.
"The AFNQL is extremely troubled by this tragedy. Our First Nations populations are being taken hostage by crisis and too often responded by powerlessness. We must stop denying this painful reality and most importantly, provide communities with the means to respond to the urgent needs. We reiterate our call to Ministers Coiteux and Goodale so that they address without delay the situation of public security in our communities. Will it take another tragedy to remind them of their responsibilities", denounced AFNQL Chief Ghislain Picard.
The AFNQL has been trying in vain since January, to confirm a meeting with the two Ministers responsible for Public Security in order to find viable, sustainable and equitable solutions to the blatant chronic under-funding of First Nations policing services. That absence of response from both Ministers perpetuates the unequitable treatment of First Nations in the system of justice.
"We will continue to demand for an independent inquiry to shed light on the relationship between the policing services and our people. This is the clear position from our Chiefs. In tense situations, our First Nations police forces are left vulnerable but we will continue to insist on having access to recognized and properly funded police services, equal to what exists elsewhere. The tragic events of Lac Simon reveal an undeniable situation: while we expect our First Nations police services to ensure the safety of our populations, their means and resources are clearly inferior to those of comparable police forces", concludes Chief Picard.
About the AFNQL
The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador is the political organization of 43 Chiefs of the First Nations in Quebec and Labrador. www.apnql-afnql.com
SOURCE Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador
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