APTN National News
The public inquiry on relations between Indigenous peoples and six public services in Quebec got underway Monday in Val d’Or.
It began with a traditional ceremony with two Anishinabe elders and two grandmothers.
Their message to the inquiry and participants was about understanding each other and that many need to be heard.
Anishinabe Elder Roy Paul also gave an eagle feather to Chief Commissioner Jacques Viens.
Elder Phillip Gliddy gives said it’s important the commissioner understands its meaning.
“It is a great significance to pass an eagle feather,” said Gliddy. “It will give him strength and it will give him guidance when he does these hearings.”
Then Viens opened the inquiry.
He said that he and his team will do all that is possible to shed light on discrimination and racism on Indigenous people and that it is very important to establish a climate of trust in order to get the
most participation as possible.
The two next weeks will be for Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations to testify. Testimony for individuals will start in the fall.
Viviane Michel, president of Quebec Native Women’s Association was the first to present her organization and her concerns.
She highly recommended that the commission give its support to the victims before during and after the testimony.
On Tuesday, the commission will hear from AFN Regional Chief Ghislain Picard and Grand Chief Verna Polson from the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation Tribal Council.