(April 1, 2016) (Ottawa, ON) ― The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) has learned that there are more Indigenous women coming forward in the Val D’Or region of Quebec sharing their experiences of sexual abuse and other forms of gender and race-based violence at the hands of Quebec police.
Historically, all tiers of institutional protection services have inflicted violence on our peoples – particularly our women and girls. Racism and sexism lead directly to gender and race-based violence, which is simply unacceptable in any community, particularly at the hands of those who are trusted to protect and serve.
This developing case in Val D’Or is of deep concern to NWAC. Our organization condemns all forms of violence against our mothers, daughters, sisters, aunties and grandmothers, and seeks to express our sincere gratitude for the brave survivors who have come forward with these stories.
NWAC is hopeful that survivors of this violence will continue to come forward if and when they feel comfortable doing so. It is only through shining light on these horrific and unacceptable injustices that we will be able to reveal systemic discrimination, and move toward concrete solutions.
To all survivors: we stand with you.
“I am deeply concerned with the allegations coming out of Val D’Or, but not the least bit surprised. We know that violence has been inflicted on our women and girls at the hands of authorities both physically, sexually and institutionally for decades. I am hopeful that through shining light in these dark places, we will one day see justice. Violence against Indigenous woman and girls must stop.”
―Dawn Lavell-Harvard, President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada