WENDAKE, QC, Nov. 16, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Regardless of the conclusions of the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions of Quebec following the SPVM investigation, in connection with First Nations women's denouncements in the Val-d'Or area, the AFNQL will continue to accompany the efforts of our First Nations women who dared to denounce the situation of intolerable abuse by police officers.
"It is crucial to conduct police investigations when facts dictate, but it is essential and urgent to recognize the signs and respond to discriminatory behavioral patterns and downright racist, in which our populations are too often the victims", stated Ghislain Picard, Chief of the AFNQL
in support of Chief Adrienne Anichinapéo of Kitcisakik, Chief Adrienne Jérôme of Lac Simon and Chief David Kistabish of Abitibiwinni First Nations.
Our communities need the necessary resources to provide services to our women who are victims of violence and to encourage them to break the silence and to support them in their healing process. Our current resources, in this regard, are largely inadequate. We are urging that an emergency budget be provided for front-line services and a safety net for our women and their families be immediately made available to First Nations communities.
Without being able to dispute the investigative work performed by the SPVM or that of the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions in the specific case of the denunciations in Val-d'Or, the AFNQL states that the problem that gave rise to the situations reported is much broader and cannot be addressed solely through the support of law enforcement investigations.
For over a year now, the AFNQL has been calling for the Couillard Government, and without any conclusive outcome, to have the courage to set up an independent commission of inquiry on all the aspects of relations between police services and First Nations.
"The Couillard Government refuses to face its responsibilities, the majority of police services are under his authority, and instead chose to hide behind the police investigation conducted by the SPVM. In another context, they preferred to wait, for the results of the investigation launched by the federal government on the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, in two to three years from now! These are very convenient delays for the Couillard Government, but not for our First Nations women", said Ghislain Picard.
"Should the AFNQL launch its own inquiry? Every day, and for many years, our women have been enduring situations and in which they dared to denounce. The AFNQL, the Quebec Native Women, our local and regional First Nations governments support our women, whom in the past, have been left to fend for themselves. Our women should not be silenced, intimidated or discouraged by the results to date of the actions which they were brave enough to take on. It is the beginning, and not the end, of a march for justice, and we will prevail on that journey", concluded Ghislain Picard.
About the AFNQL
The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador is the political organization regrouping 43 Chiefs of the First Nations in Quebec and Labrador. www.apnql-afnql.com.
SOURCE Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador
For further information: Mélanie Vincent : [email protected], 418 580-4442