A Public Inquiry in Quebec
Kahnawake, December 21, 2016 – Quebec Native Women (QNW) welcomes the decision of the Government of Quebec announcing the formal establishment of a Provincial Public Inquiry. After a year of difficult denunciations and relentless demands, QNW welcomes the magnitude of the mandate with hope.
First, it is important to highlight the courage of those women who spoke out in order to denounce a situation of injustice which has been going on for many years. “Although QNW welcomes the news, we must remain vigilant regarding the support offered to individuals who will be testifying during the course of this inquiry. Indigenous women are courageous, strong, and have a good network among themselves, but the government will be responsible for ensuring that all necessary and appropriate services will be available, during and after this inquiry,” said Viviane Michel, President of Quebec Native Women.
QNW is satisfied with the fact that this inquiry will shed light on the systemic issues characterizing the relationship between Indigenous people and the police institutions of Quebec, as well as some of the public services in Quebec such as correctional, justice, health and social services, as well as the youth protection services. It is time to recognize the presence of racism and systemic discrimination in Quebec and for them to finally be brought to a halt.
QNW believes that this forum will allow the various parties concerned to express their views on the situation in order to provide solutions which will allow for better coexistence, knowledge and understanding between Indigenous peoples and Quebec society. Furthermore, over the next few months, there will be significant work to be done between the two inquiries, national and provincial, so that no account is left out.
Laureanne Fontaine, Communication Officer