Quebec’s own inquiry into Indigenous relations heard more heartbreaking stories linked to provincial police on Friday.
Damien Newashish, an Atikamekw man from La Tuque, alleged he was the victim of a racist remark by Quebec provincial police.
“There was one [officer] who said, ‘If you’re not capable of drinking, go back to where you came from,” he told the inquiry in Val-d’Or.
La Tuque is located near the Atikamekw First Nation of Wemotaci.
Newashish submitted the name of the officer into evidence in the hope attitudes will change.
“I have hope that it can get better,” he said. “Look, about one quarter of the town are Indigenous people.”
Johnny Dumont, the father of two men shot dead by police in separate cases, also testified at the inquiry.
No charges were laid in the death of Johnny Junior, who was killed in 2009, or his brother, Sandy Michel.
Police say Michel was brandishing a machete and threatened officers before his death in 2016.
Dumont is from the nearby Lac Simon First Nation, a community plagued with housing, poverty, and addiction issues.
Dumont says the community is also still suffering from the public shooting of his son.
“There are lots of youth in Lac Simon who saw my son on the ground,” he testified. “Many children saw him, who have difficulty today.”
While Dumont said nothing can bring back his sons, he hopes the focus will be on the remaining youth.
“There’s people who are still angry and sad and they suffer and they need help,” he said.
Hearings will continue in Val-d’Or until April 20 before moving to Maliotenam first nation in May.