WENDAKE, QC, Feb. 26, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - The Chief of the AFNQL, Ghislain Picard, will participate tomorrow in the National Roundtable on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, being held in Ottawa.
Chief Picard joins the President of the Quebec Native Women Association, Ms. Viviane Michel, and the Minister responsible for Quebec Native Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Kelley. Delegations from the National Aboriginal Organizations, from provinces and territories along with federal representatives will be participating in the Roundtable, which received clear support by the provincial and territorial governments.
"We must take note of the plight of our missing and murdered women and girls and their families. They have been left on their own for too long. We will have to speak frankly and stop minimizing the extent of this national scandal. We have to tell it like it is", declares Ghislain Picard, Chief of the AFNQL.
"The Roundtable will give the current Aboriginal Affairs Minister, Bernard Valcourt, the opportunity to correct the erroneous statements, not to say, contemptuous, that he made on several occasions about our missing and murdered women and the responsibility of First Nations men on this matter, and to join the dialogue initiated by the Roundtable. With respect to Prime Minister Harper, he must now face up to his responsibilities and finally acknowledge what is obvious to everyone but him: the tragedy of the Aboriginal missing and murdered women is also the result of the state of dependency in which the federal government has been keeping the First Nations for decades and the general neglect and contempt which serve as aboriginal policy at the Conservative government", added Chief Picard.
The Chief of the AFNQL also wishes to thank the provincial and territorial governments for their support and remains confident that they will continue to show solidarity with actions to help ensure the safety of women and girls of our Nations.
"The hope which has been for far too long the only recourse for our families, must now make way for immediate action, not next week, not next month, but today. It is time for them to finally believe in justice. This is the challenge for the participants in the Roundtable", concluded Ghislain Picard.
About the AFNQL
The Assembly of 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