• First Nations in Quebec Mobilize and Adopt an Action Plan Against Sexual Assault
Apr 20, 2018

Organized by Quebec Native Women (QNW) and the FNQLHSSC, the First Nations Forum on Sexual Assault was held on March 27–29 in Québec City. Nearly 200 First Nations delegates came together from across Quebec to lay out an action plan to counter sexual violence in First Nations, by supporting victims and aggressors on a path to healing.

 

During this event, the delegates set many guidelines to orient the various aspects of developing and implementing local action plans in cooperation with various partners. The pre-eminence and respect for the vision, culture, language and spirituality of each nation and the full recognition of their knowledge and practices laid the groundwork for the work to come.

 

“We are very satisfied with the results from the Forum; we are leaving with a clear action plan and this wave of mobilization must continue. We aim first and foremost for each First Nations community to commit to preventing sexual violence and put into place concrete actions to break the cycle of violence. QNW and the FNQLHSSC will join efforts to put into place a support and follow-up committee, which will report on the progress following the Forum. We also commit to communicating and sharing our best community practices. Sensitization is part of our responsibilities, and we intend on continuing to find solutions to break the silence and taboos that surround sexual violence in our communities,” declared Viviane Michel, President of QNW.

“Our mandate is to listen to voices from our members and accompany First Nations communities and organizations to develop their local action plan. We will mobilize governmental partners and external organizations so that the teams working in First Nations communities can benefit from their expertise. We will take on these responsibilities with determination, including the completion of a needs assessment regarding support and current practices,” added Marjolaine Siouï, Executive Director of the First Nations of Québec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission.

“Committing to fighting sexual violence and all forms of violence is a shared concern. It is our collective responsibility to mobilize to ensure the safety and healthy development of our children, our families and our communities. Mobilization must also translate into a political commitment to implement the action plan in respect of the practices and local initiatives of our communities,” states Ghislain Picard, Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Québec-Labrador (AFNQL).


Each community wishing to take on this issue is invited to develop their own local action plan based on four broad objectives: service accessibility, community mobilization, cooperation and consolidation of gains.

 

The first activity of the support and follow-up committee, which will begin work in the coming weeks, will be to take stock of current needs and practices in each community. The committee will accompany the communities according to the identified needs and in view of developing and implementing a local action plan.

 

For information about developing and implementing a local action plan, please contact Valérie Vennes, Social Crisis and Family Violence Advisor.