20 May

Wendake, May 20, 2020 – Following the official filing of a complaint with the Commission des droits de la personne et de la jeunesse du Québec (CDPDJ) by Quebec Native Women (QNW) on the grounds of systemic discrimination and racial profiling by the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) against an Indigenous woman, the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL), together with its Council of Elected Women, the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal and Resilience Montreal, join forces with QNW to denounce, once again, an excessive police intervention.

This press release follows a case reported in the media on May 3 at Cabot Square in Montreal, where a First Nations woman, visibly in psychological distress, needed to be transported by ambulance to receive emergency hospital care. Several vehicles and 17 SPVM police officers were the first responders, supported by the K-9 squad, while waiting for an ambulance. An inappropriate and excessive intervention in a city that proclaims itself to be the “metropolis of reconciliation”.

It is with the greatest outrage that we see another case too many. Why is it that despite all the solutions presented on a silver platter with millions of dollars invested, which include Calls for Justice (MMIWG), Calls to Action (Viens Commission), numerous research studies, rapprochement efforts, principles of reconciliation and denunciations at the international level, we are still witnessing obvious police abuses unfold before our eyes? “questioned Chief Adrienne Jérôme from Lac Simon, also spokesperson for the AFNQL’s Council of Elected Women.

We have asked the Minister of Public Security, Geneviève Guilbault, the Minister of Justice, Sonia Lebel and the Mayor of the City of Montreal, Valérie Plante, to explain their real intentions to implement recognized actions to stop the systemic discrimination that has plagued their institutions for too long,” expressed AFNQL Chief Ghislain Picard.

It should be noted that a report on the analysis of SPVM data published in August 2019, reveals that Indigenous people and Black people show very high disparities, between 4 and 5 times more likely than White people, in their average likelihood of being stopped by the SPVM and that Indigenous women are a particular target group for police stops, being 11 times more likely to be stopped than White women.

We will not give up and we will continue to show our determination to denounce all cases of racial profiling and police excesses. No other recourse is excluded in this case,” concluded Viviane Michel, President of Quebec Native Women.

About QNW

Quebec Native Women (QNW) is an organization that represents Aboriginal women throughout Quebec, in 9 nations and in urban areas. Visit the QNW Website to learn more about the organization: https://faq-qnw.org/.

About Resilience Montreal

Resilience Montreal is a non-profit day shelter situated on the corner of Atwater and Sainte Catherine, offering food, a place to sleep, clean clothes, and support to anyone in need: https://resiliencemontreal.com/.

About the AFNQL

The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador is the political organization which regroups 43 Chiefs of First Nations in Quebec and in Labrador. Follow the AFNQL on Twitter @APNQL.

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Alain Garon, agaron@apnql.com

Communications Advisor

Cell.: 418-254-4620