Five deaths in Manawan in 1977: Once again, more questions than answers

WENDAKE, QC, Feb. 24, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - "The broadcast by Radio-Canada of a report on the death, in 1977, of five members of the Atikamekw community of Manawan, under circumstances that at the very least are troubling, revives painful memories for parents and relatives. This is yet another case where the questions outweigh the answers. It strengthens the demand submitted to Premier Couillard by the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador to hold an independent inquiry into the relationship between the police and Aboriginal people, an inquiry demanded following the revelations of the broadcast "Enquête" in October 2015," responded the Chief of the AFNQL, Ghislain Picard.

The Chief of Manawan, Jean-Roch Ottawa, said he was extremely disturbed by this story that has surfaced nearly 40 years after the fact. "This additional example leaves us no choice but to believe that there is a double standard in the application of justice in Quebec. Was there any negligence in the treatment of this "accident" 40 years ago? The parents have a right to know," said Chief Ottawa.

Following a report from the Québec Ombudsman, released on February 18th and revealing major flaws in the administration of justice and detention conditions for the members of the Inuit Nation who face justice, there is an urgency to act, considers the AFNQL.

The AFNQL Chief believes that only an independent inquiry will clarify the relationship between the criminal justice system, the police and members of First Nations. Examples continue to accumulate and confirm the urgent need for an explanation of how certain cases are treated when it comes to First Nations members.

About the AFNQL
The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador is the political organization of 43 Chiefs of the First Nations in Quebec and Labrador.


SOURCE Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador

For further information: Mélanie Vincent:, Cell.: 418-580-4442


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