Reality is perception, and reality isn’t always reality when it comes to the reality of policing Indigenous communities, said a Kahnawake community leader in response to a provincial report on the reality faced by police officers in Quebec.
“First Nations policing is an important part of our governance as a Nation. They must meet the specific needs of the people to whom we are accountable,” Mohawk Council of Kahnawake Chief Gina Deer, the lead on the public security file for the Assembly of First Nations for Quebec and Labrador (AFNQL), said.
Deer’s comments refer to the December 2019 provincial report filed by the Quebec Public Security Minister called ‘Réalité policière au Québec : modernité, confiance et efficience’
Deer asked for the government to consider the systemic racism faced by Indigenous people in Quebec and understanding in terms of the differences in looking after the different communities.
“The provincial minister of public security must respectfully consider our reality in the reform of the Police Act for which she is responsible; harmonious mutual relations depend on it," Deer said.
AFNQL Chief Ghislain Picard said he hoped the Legault government will consider further reform and give First Nations policing the attention it deserves.
"Only a true political debate, respectful and undoubtedly daring, that is willing to go beyond the beaten path, can bring lasting solutions to the unacceptable situation of First Nations policing, a situation that has already lasted far too long,” Picard said, adding the AFNQL will address the issue at the next AFQNL-Quebec political Table.
Marc Lalonde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Iori:wase