08 May

Kahnawake, May 8, 2020 – This press release is issued as a response to a police intervention that took place last Sunday, May 3, at Cabot Square in Montréal, and follows up on the news story broadcasted about this event on May 7, 2020 by the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN). According to the facts reported, police officers of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) would have intervened in an inappropriate and excessive manner toward an Indigenous woman in psychological distress. As a matter of fact, 17 police officers, including the canine patrol, showed up on the site.

Quebec Native Women (QNW) wishes to strongly denounce this event which, from our perspective, reflects another situation of discrimination toward a member of the urban Indigenous community and which could be a form of racial profiling.

Is the extent of this intervention linked to the fact that it had to do with an Indigenous woman?
I think we have the right to ask ourselves that question.

– Viviane Michel, President, QNW

Unfortunately, this event is not an isolated case. In October 2019, the SPVM presented the conclusions of an independent report where it was stated that “Indigenous women constitute a group that is particularly targeted by police inquiries: they have 11 times more chances to be arrested than white women”.

QNW would also like to reiterate their offer to the system in place for a collaboration: police forces must sit down with the Indigenous organizations to develop intervention protocols for Indigenous women and take radical measures to eliminate racial profiling. Also, training and awareness for professions acting as first respondents are essential to reform interventions toward Indigenous women and must be done in partnership with the organizations that represent them.

Rest assured that QNW is closely monitoring the developments of this situation and is currently analyzing various procedures that could be undertaken.

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Jay Launière-Mathias – Communications and Special Events Officer