WENDAKE, QC, Oct. 23, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Following the disturbing revelations from the program "Enquête", on cases of abuse of power and violence against Aboriginal women from the Sûreté du Québec, the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) does not accept the response from the Government of Quebec that wants us to believe that a simple internal investigation will shed light on very serious allegations against its provincial police force. With denunciations pointing to a two-tiered application of law and justice, the AFNQL demands that the Government of Quebec establish an independent inquiry with the necessary credibility for the victims and Aboriginal leaders. The AFNQL is also shocked to learn that the officers in question are still in service today.
"For the honor and dignity of the women victims of violence, we will not be satisfied with a rebate on justice. Why should we accept that the protector, the one who would normally be in charge of our security, be the aggressor. It is public security that is being questioned here and the response must equal the gravity of the allegations", declared the AFNQL Chief, Ghislain Picard.
Although the Government of Quebec announced a Parliamentary Commission that will study the issue of violence against Aboriginal women and their conditions of life in relation to sexual assault and domestic violence, the issue of justice towards First Nations goes beyond that. Considering the seriousness of the situations reported in Val-d'Or by Radio-Canada, the recent nebulous deaths of close to 300 young people and multiple cases of missing and murdered Aboriginal women, it is time to act and to set up an Independent Commission of Inquiry to shed light and issue recommendations for actions to initiate a profound change for real justice.
"It is profoundly disturbing to see that it takes an accumulation of human and collective tragedies for a reaction. Systemic discrimination against First Nations exists. It is not an urban legend. The Government of Quebec must respond to this culture of indifference when our members are the victims. It must stop. What other tragedies do we need before we act? An Independent Commission of Inquiry to examine how justice is applied to First Nations is the only option. I call on Premier Couillard to do the right thing", Chief Picard concluded.
About the AFNQL
The Assembly of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador is the political organization regrouping 43 Chiefs of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador. www.apnql-afnql.com.
SOURCE Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador
For further information: Mélanie Vincent: [email protected], Cell.: 418-580-4442