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Home > Press centre > Press releases > 2015 > November 4, 2015
Aboriginal women victims of violence

Premier Philippe Couillard meets with the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador

Québec, November 4, 2015. – The Premier of Québec, Philippe Couillard, accompanied by the Minister responsible for Native Affairs, Geoffrey Kelley, the Minister for Rehabilitation, Youth Protection and Public Health, Lucie Charlebois, and the Member of the National Assembly for Abitibi-Est, Guy Bourgeois, met with the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador and the executive director of the Val-d'Or Native Friendship Centre today and took note of their recommendations for developing a common action plan for improving services offered to Aboriginal people in urban areas, with particular attention to the situation of women.

“This discussion took place in a spirit of openness and respect. What mattered most to me, was to learn the opinions of the indigenous leaders and the solutions they propose. I am very satisfied with the results, however it is clear that we must continue the work and engage all relevant stakeholders to find solutions and improve the situation of indigenous women globally. The Quebec government is determined to contribute decisively to improving the living conditions of indigenous women, no matter where they are, in Quebec,” said the Premier.

“This situation, which concerns all of us, led us to act quickly to ensure the safety of Aboriginal women who have taken the floor and to provide the necessary support for a community badly shaken by the situation. Some measures have been implemented, and we are continuing the work. We seek the engagement and collaboration of everyone: the civil society, the various levels of government and, of course, all indigenous nations,” clarified the Minister, Geoffrey Kelley.

“We are in the process of putting concrete measures and durable solutions in place and are searching for solutions that will enable us to act quickly to significantly improve the everyday lives of Aboriginal women. Already, workers in the community, health and social services and local resources are alert and working with skill and dedication to assist them. At the government level, we are working on several fronts, in collaboration with the community, to support the entire population in several ways, and this issue will certainly continue to develop over the coming months. I will personally see to it,” declared Minister Lucie Charlebois.

“By working together, I am certain that we will be able to restore a climate of trust and security, ensuring a fair and equitable cohabitation. I am confident that more positive and productive relationships between indigenous and non-indigenous people will result from this situation. This experience will enable the entire population to learn and grow,” said the member for Abitibi-Est, Guy Bourgeois.

Note that several measures related to this announcement will be made public during the day.

Expectations of the new federal government

The Premier took the opportunity to remind everyone of the announcement of the next Canadian Cabinet’s composition and the importance of the new federal government’s commitments during the election campaign. “The new Prime Minister and his team have adopted an encouraging attitude towards Aboriginal nations. This is something to be welcomed. I hope that the commitments made ​​during the election campaign will take shape quickly, particularly with respect to implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations and establishing a national public inquiry into the 1,200 missing or murdered Aboriginal women and girls. Obviously, the major investment promised for improving the Aboriginal education system could prove decisive for the future of Aboriginal nations. I offer the Quebec Government’s fullest cooperation in all of the projects where we can act in tandem with the federal government to enhance the well-being of Aboriginal women and their communities. Of course, we hope to receive the same cooperation from the federal government in regard to the support needed by Aboriginal communities, especially Aboriginal women, who are vulnerable in urban areas.”

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