“The Government of Philippe Couillard and ‘Urban Aboriginals’: again half-measures that are likely to miss their target”
WENDAKE, QC, Oct. 17, 2016 – According to the AFNQL, the Government of Philippe Couillard seeks once again to escape from its responsibilities towards the First Nations women who have bravely denounced, almost a year ago, the actions of police officers. Rather than setting up a public inquiry into the relations between the policing services and members of First Nations as requested by the Chiefs’ Assembly and the Quebec Native Women, the Government of Philippe Couillard is playing with numbers and sets up a smokescreen to hide its inaction.
“Our girls and women who have denounced the actions of police officers, not only in Val-d’Or, but throughout the territory, are often left to themselves. They dared to speak after years of silence, with great courage, but they are left alone today, with nothing, and they are demanding justice. Have they been heard?”, questions Ghislain Picard, Chief of the AFNQL.
According to the AFNQL, the measures announced today, although necessary to support community organizations in their mission, do not respond to the situation faced by our women who dared to break the silence. They further add to the confusion around the situation of “Urban Aboriginals”.
“The presence of members of First Nations in cities is a highly complex issue of concern for the AFNQL and, it has been for a long time an issue that deserves better than the general announcement made today by the Couillard Government, without consulting the assembly of our Chiefs. To mix, on one hand, the difficult relations between First Nations and police services and, on the other hand, the whole issue of the urban challenges our people are faced with, serves above all the image of the Government of Philippe Couillard. As it did last year following the revelations in Val-d’Or, the Couillard Government seeks to create a diversion. Our women, our daughters, our First Nations deserve better than this,”concludes Ghislain Picard.
Almost a year after the last meeting held with the Chiefs of the AFNQL as a result of the Val-d’Or denunciations, the Chief of the AFNQL invites Premier Couillard to meet with the Chiefs of the AFNQL in the near future to deal with the real issues.
About the AFNQL
The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador is the political organization regrouping 43 Chiefs of the First Nations in Quebec and Labrador. www.apnql-afnql.com.
For further information: Mélanie Vincent : [email protected], Cell. : 418-580-4442