A step towards Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples: Long Point First Nation welcomes Viens Commission final report

Winneway Aki, September 30, 2019 – On this National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Long Point First Nation welcomes the long-awaited and highly anticipated final report of the Public Inquiry Commission on relations between Indigenous Peoples and certain public services in Québec (Viens Commission) and demand full implementation of its recommendations. The report was made public earlier today with 142 Calls to Action with regards to six public services administered by the Quebec Government. The public inquiry was announced in December 2016 by the Couillard government following allegations made by Indigenous women against police officers in Val-d’Or. The events sent shock waves throughout the province and country. The government’s intent was to restore trust between the police and the Indigenous communities and thus created the Public Inquiry “on the relations between Aboriginal people and certain public services in Quebec: listening, reconciliation and progress”. 

“For Long Point, we are particularly interested in the Calls to Action with regards to public security”, stated Chief Steeve Mathias. “My community was forced to close our own public security services in 2006 when negotiations failed between our Council and both levels of the Provincial and Federal Governments. We have been waiting now 12 years for the governments to step up and work with First Nations in establishing real and concrete commitments where the safety of our People are concerned, namely moving public security out of a program to legislation. We are entitled to safety in our very own communities”. 

Long Point urges the government of Quebec to implement the Calls to Action immediately and hopes that the appointment of Le Protecteur du Citoyen (The Québec Ombudsman) to implement the Calls to Action will guarantee that this particular report will not be tabled as other reports and recommendations have been in the past. About Long Point First Nation Long Point First Nation is a community of anicinabek people, located in the heart of unceded traditional anicinabe territory, with a majority of its members residing in Winneway on the south shores of Winneway River.