Official launch of the “Commission d’enquête : Écoute, Réconciliation et Progrès”
Kahnawake, March 16, 2017 – Quebec Native Women (QNW) wishes to express its point of view regarding the “Commission d’enquête : Écoute, Réconciliation et Progrès”, which will investigate the relationship between Indigenous people and certain public institutions in the province of Québec. This inquiry, announced in December 2016, in reaction to the revelations of serious abuse suffered by numerous Indigenous women and calls for action from many Indigenous organizations. QNW would like to recognize how quickly the commission has worked on the implementation of this inquiry.
First, it is important to highlight the courage and resilience of the Indigenous women who have spoken out and who are speaking out against the injustices they are experiencing today. With the creation of this inquiry, due primarily to the courage of these women, will shed light on the important issues faced by many Indigenous peoples in Quebec. QNW is encouraging Indigenous women who have faced discrimination and racism by one or more of the six public institutions involved in the inquiry: police, correctional, legal, health and social services and youth protection services to accept the invitation from the Commission to participate in the inquiry.
QNW would like to highlight the significant involvement of an Eeyou woman, Janet Mark, on the Commission’s team as the Indigenous Relations Coordinator. QNW echo’s Janet Mark statements regarding the urgent need to appoint additional Indigenous people on the Commission’s team as well as her request on the need for the presence of Indigenous stakeholders and psychological support during and following the hearings.
However, following today’s press conference, QNW is also concerned that conclusion will be drawn before all interested parties can express themselves. The absence of recognition of discrimination and racism within the public services of Quebec will be an obstacle to achieving the objectives of the inquiry.
“We are satisfied with the Commission’s mandate, but now that is officially launched, it is all the more important for Indigenous organizations such as QNW to participate in order to accompany women throughout this process and to ensure that their voices are heard, understood and respected. A nation-to- nation collaboration will be a key element in the success of this inquiry, the conclusion of which will have a significant impact on the reconciliation between our people,” said Viviane Michel, QNW’s president.
Laureanne Fontaine, Communication Officer
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