Statement from AFNQL Chief Ghislain Picard Following the Broadcast of the “Enquête” Report
WENDAKE, QC, Feb. 17, 2017 – Following the broadcast of Radio Canada’s “Enquête” television report on February 16th regarding the vicious cycle of abuse experienced in some First Nations communities in Quebec, the chief of the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL), Ghislain Picard, salutes the immense courage of all the victims who dared to speak up to denounce the acts of violence they endured. Like many of our sisters and brothers who are victims of such crimes, they have, against all odds, taken their suffering in hand to change their hidden reality and to protect our children and our future generations of such atrocities. We must take example on their courage. Their troubling testimonies put us before the undeniable duty to primarily promote reconciliation between ourselves, to reveal our truths in all transparency and respect, but also to break the vicious circle of abuse to heal.
Violence of all forms is unacceptable, no matter by whom it is committed. Concrete actions must be laid to ensure unwavering confidence in justice and police services. The independence of the justice system is a fundamental principle that the AFNQL acknowledges and it must be respected. The duty to protect the population is an absolute necessity and the AFNQL does not endorse any gesture or action contrary to this principle, under any circumstances. Appropriate means to help and support victims and their families should be granted on a priority basis to leave no doubt as to this fundamental duty of protection. This responsibility is not ours alone, it should be shared between all levels of Government.
The security of our people is a non-negotiable human right. This is the clear message that we have been reiterating for several months and will continue to do so but we will go further by proposing to set up our own process to listen and offer solutions to break down the walls of silence. Enough is enough.
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@example.com, Cell.: 418 580-4442