First Nations women also have the right to security and protection

Pictured: The late Joyce Echaquan, Atikamekw, broadcast a Facebook Live video of racist Quebec hospital staff uttering anti-Indigenous slurs before her death.(Photo: Facebook)

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Joyce Echaquan's treatment was neither an isolated case nor unique to the health services

News Release

Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Council of Elected Women and Quebec Native Women

The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Council of Elected Women and Quebec Native Women (QNW) recently submitted a brief to share their observations regarding the policy on police checks in the SPVM.

The current news is a stark reminder of to what extent being Indigenous is to be confronted with the systemic racism that exists in public services. First Nations women are all too familiar with these kinds of situations in health care, in legal services, in the prison environment, in short, in all spheres of society.

Public security is no exception. Indigenous people are between four and five times more at risk than non-racialized people in terms of the average probability of being stopped by the SPVM. Arrests have increased almost seven times among Indigenous people since 2014, and Indigenous women are a particularly targeted group.

The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Council of Elected Women and Quebec Native Women unite their voices to ask the Commission de la sécurité publique to seriously consider the two briefs submitted by their respective organizations in order to ensure that this policy will respond to the specific needs of women.

All abusive treatment of Indigenous women and delivery of services guided by racism, prejudice and stereotyping of Indigenous women in particular must stop.

Unfortunately, the treatment of our sister Joyce Echaquan was neither an isolated case nor unique to the health services. This leads us, the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Council of Elected Women and Quebec Native Women, to remind all public institutions of their responsibility for the provision of equitable services free from systemic racism. "Our women are human beings and they have rights like all Quebecers. First Nations women also have the right to security, protection and the right to justice. Their most fundamental right is above all to be respected," said Adrienne Jérôme, co-spokesperson for the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Council of Elected Women.

"Our women must be guaranteed respect for their universal human rights, in particular to life, security and protection, without discrimination and on the same basis as every other woman in Quebec and Canada," said Viviane Michel, President of Quebec Native Women.

About the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Council of Elected Women

The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Elected Women's Council shall consist of all duly elected women Chiefs or councillors from each of the First Nations communities in Quebec and Labrador. Through the establishment of an Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Elected Women's Council, this affirms the importance of building and strengthening partnership between elected men and women of the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador, in all levels of decision-making within the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador, as an integral step in ensuring an equitable society.

About Quebec Native Women

Quebec Native Women represents members in 56 communities, 9 nations throughout Quebec and urban areas. https://www.faq-qnw.org

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