AFNQL: First Nations Police Services: A Priority
OTTAWA, Dec. 6, 2017 – “If the governments of Canada and Quebec had decided to bring about the failure of the self-managed First Nations police services, they could not have found a better way.” This is the reflection of Ghislain Picard, chief of the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) at the time when the chiefs of the AFNQL gathered in Ottawa recall the inaction, in recent years, of responsible ministers, in particular that of the Federal Minister Ralph Goodale, in the financing of First Nations policing services.
“Over the last 40 years, the First Nations of the AFNQL have put a great deal of effort into developing and maintaining quality police services for their populations. First supported by the Department of Indian Affairs, then by the Solicitor General which became Public Safety Canada, with the subsequent collaboration of the Province of Quebec, our police services have never been supported adequately by Canada and Quebec. Why?
“The Chiefs of the AFNQL ask this question, and above all demand to be involved in the solution. Remember that the Government of Canada has formally committed to developing a respectful, nation-to-nation relationship with us. We are still very far from achieving this objective, this issue being a perfect example,” affirmed Ghislain Picard.
“While both the Federal and Provincial Governments continue planning their budgets in secrecy, we are once again kept in uncertainty about the future of our police forces. The governments do not have to concern themselves, that come April 1st, they may not have a police force to protect them and their families. Not once has it crossed their minds that continuing to plan our future without us and make decisions for us is a discriminatory process that ripples and effects how our other essential services perform. The right thing to do here is to go above the status quo, go beyond the standard. Maybe one day they will wake up and realize that we are still here, we are not going away, and we are getting stronger. If they decide to humanize this situation, they will realize that First Nation Policing is more than just a program that can be shut down, but an essential service.”, declared Councillor Lloyd Alcon from Listuguj, Portfolio of the Public Safety file at the AFNQL.
About the AFNQL
The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador is the political organization of 43 Chiefs of the First Nations in Quebecand Labrador. www.apnql-afnql.com
For further information: Mélanie Vincent: firstname.lastname@example.org, Cell.: 418-580-4442