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AFNQL Action Plan on Racism and Discrimination: First Nations Reach out to Quebecers

Press Release

WENDAKE, QC, Sept. 29, 2020  – The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) today unveiled its Action Plan on Racism and Discrimination, which proposes actions that can be adopted immediately by Quebec citizens and civil society organizations.

“The AFNQL has decided to be proactive and produce its own Plan to fight racism and discrimination. The Plan includes dozens of concrete actions that can easily be adopted today. There are for municipalities, educational institutions, businesses, the media, and all civil society organizations, as well as for individuals. Everyone can do their part. We all have a role to play in the fight against racism and discrimination,” said AFNQL Chief Ghislain Picard.

The unveiling of the Plan follows the disclosure, on August 12, of the results of a survey conducted among more than 1,000 participants that aimed to assess Quebecers’ knowledge and perceptions of First Nations in Quebec. It appears that almost all non-Indigenous Quebecers (92%) recognize that First Nations are subject to racism or discrimination in Quebec.

“Racism and discrimination towards First Nations are very much present in Quebec and the passing of an Atikamekw woman yesterday at the Joliette hospital illustrates this sad reality that a large majority of Quebecers recognize. I am well aware that most of the time, the racism we experience is unintentional and is often the result of unconscious biases. It is also very often the result of government policies that lead to systemic discrimination,” added Chief Picard.

The results of this survey also showed that progress has been made in recent years in terms of Quebecers’ opinion of First Nations. Generally speaking, a majority of Quebecers are open to First Nations and support their demands.

To build its Action Plan, the AFNQL has drawn on the numerous recommendations of the most recent reports of commissions of inquiry held in Quebec and Canada. These reports were done with rigour and their elaboration required on several occasions the often very painful participation of people who suffer from discriminatory and/or racist situations. Rather than letting these precious testimonies and recommendations lie dormant, the AFNQL has undertaken to make them its own and to see in all respect how each and everyone can contribute.

The Action Plan on Racism and Discrimination and the calls for action to the Quebec population are not intended to relieve the Quebec government of its responsibilities. On the contrary, the AFNQL also calls upon the government to adopt the proposed actions that fall under the responsibility of the State.

About the AFNQL

The Assembly of First Nations Québec-Labrador is the political organization regrouping 43 Chiefs of the First Nations in Québec and Labrador. Follow us on Twitter @APNQL.

For further information: Alain Garon, Communications Advisor, (418) 254-4620, [email protected]

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