17 December

Quebec Native Women supports the December 15th, 2019 flash-mob in reaction to violence against women, that took place in front of the National Assembly

QNW would like to highlight the initiative of the Regroupement des groupes de femmes de la région de la Capitale-Nationale and the Committee of Immigrant Women for their denunciation before the National Assembly in Quebec. This movement is part of a worldwide movement of women who are mobilizing to denounce the government systems that perpetuate the culture of rape.

We want to emphasize the solidarity they have demonstrated in their claims in the Innu language and by reminding the National Assembly that “in Canada, we can no longer ignore the case of Aboriginal women who are victims of systemic violence, where racism, colonialism and sexism are combined. While accounting for 4% of the Canadian population, Indigenous women count for 25% of female homicide victims, a statistic from the recent Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls”, that can be read in the press release prepared by the “Regroupement des groupes de femmes de la région de la Capitale-Nationale”.

QNW supports these claims which particularly affect Native women in Quebec. Indeed, the wave of #WeHealTogether and “#Metoo have demonstrated the extent of the rape culture phenomenon and that stubborn myths still persist, both in terms of police intervention, the judicial process, and in terms of these myths that protect the aggressors, in addition to blaming the victims”, affirms the “Regroupement des groupes de femmes de la région de la Capitale-Nationale”.

QNW supports the request expressed by Annie-Pierre Bélanger during the flash-mob event: “This is completely unacceptable, and we are asking our governments to act, in particular to prevent the police from carrying out violence against women, to have a justice system that supports victims and to no longer have an almost total number of unpunished abusers.” They call for immediate and structural actions to counter and prevent violence against women.

On the eve of the submission of the Ministry of Public Security’s “Livre Vert” or Green Book (on which we were not consulted), we ask the Government to ensure that drastic measures are put in place for the security of Indigenous women.

QNW also requests that the Government of Quebec work in partnership with the Federal Government in order to implement the call for justice 5.3 of the MMIWG Inquiry:

We call upon the federal government to review and reform the law about sexualized violence and intimate partner violence, utilizing the perspectives of feminist and Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people.

It is time that the Government of Canada and Quebec reform the criminal law and the judicial processes related to sexual and conjugal violence.

To this end, we would like to recall that QNW recommended to the “Viens Inquiry” and to the MMIWG Inquiry that there be the establishment of a Specialized Court in Sexual Assault in Quebec.

The funding from the Quebec Ministry of Justice for the free legal advice and accompaniment for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence is just a beginning. We would like to remind them, that there is still a lot of work to be done to secure Indigenous women. It is important to emphasize that Indigenous women who live in remote regions or in communities, often do not have the financial or logistical means to travel to the city to obtain the services of a CALAC, CAVAC or a lawyer. Services must come to them and be culturally safe.