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First Nations public security is gravely compromised: AFNQL Chiefs issue an urgent appeal to Minister Geneviève Guilbault

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WENDAKE, QC, Sept. 16, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ - There is a climate of insecurity and a clear loss of confidence among First Nation communities currently receiving policing services from the Sureté du Québec. Constant interference in the governance of First Nations policing services by the provincial Ministère de la Sécurité publique and the loss of policing personnel due to sub par working conditions due to blatant discrimination in the financial and material means made available to First Nations' policing services result in severe constraints that compromise the quality of policing services in First Nations communities; everything is in place for another serious policing crisis due to these discriminatory practices imposed by the current provincial Police Act.

These were some of the observations made by AFNQL Chief's as they met with Chiefs of Police and Director Generals from a number First Nation governments during an important meeting that was held on September 15th 2021 in preparation for the AFNQL-Quebec Political Table on Public Security scheduled for September 23rd , 2021. The provincial Minister of Public Security, Ms. Geneviève Guilbault, will participate in this Political Table, which will be co-chaired by the Chief of the AFNQL, Ghislain Picard, and by the provincial Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs, Mr. Ian Lafrenière.

"All First Nations Peoples, our women, our girls, our children and our elders, all have the fundamental right to live in a safe environment. The AFNQL Chiefs are reiterating their authority and their responsibility with respect to the security of their populations and demand the immediate cooperation of the provincial and federal governments to resolve a situation which can no longer be endured. At the September 23rd meeting, AFNQL Chiefs will be expecting Minister Guilbault to make a clear commitment towards working collaboratively with them in resolving these unacceptable conditions," said Chief Lance Haymond, public security portfolio-holder for the AFNQL.

"First Nations demand that their policing services be treated as essential services. The federal government has committed to legislation confirming this. AFNQL Chiefs expect Minister Guilbault to also commit to recognizing the essential nature of our policing services at our September 23rd meeting. The provincial government must recognize First Nations' right to self-determination and as a matter of course, their governments' jurisdiction over public security. The current climate of confrontation must give way to effective and respectful collaboration. This is what populations on both sides expect from their elected officials," added Ghislain Picard, Chief of the AFNQL.

About the AFNQL
The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador is the political body that brings together 43 Chiefs of the First Nations in Quebec and Labrador.

SOURCE Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador


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