A band councillor with the Anishnaabe Nation of Lac Simon told the Quebec Inquiry that the province has a long way to go to improve its relationship with his community.
“The government of Quebec does not recognize a First Nation community’s right to self-governance and that is what creates the relationship problems with these communities,” Lucien Wabanonik told the inquiry.
Wabanonik addded that nothing has been done in Lac Simon despite the recommendations from the Royal Commission released in 1995.
“Concerning police services, social services, implementation of the justice system, education, territory, mines and forest exploitation,” he said. “Recognition of governmental autonomy and the widespread attitude of public servants towards the council and its representatives.
Lac Simon is located about 40 km east of Val d’Or.
The Quebec Inquiry on reations with Indigenous people was created following allegations of sexual abuse from Anishinaabe women against Quebec’s provincial police force.
Wabanonik said there has been little improvement with the Surete du Quebec (SQ).
“We are starting to do things with the SQ we are trying to make communication better and not just five days a week it is 24 -7 that is that kind of services that we are trying to get,” he said.”
Wabanonik added that even if there is a lot of scepticism about the outcome of the inquiry, they have to continue their fight for a better future.
“We cannot turn away or walk away that is not going to help,” he said. “And this is why we were here this morning to give that message that we are still here and we will continue to be here if we need to build something we need to talk to each other.”
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