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National Day of Remembrance for Victims of COVID-19: Honouring our Holders of Traditional Knowledge

·2 min read

WENDAKE, QC, March 11, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ - On this National Day of Remembrance in memory of the victims of COVID-19, the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) and the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission (FNQLHSSC) join their voices to pay tribute to the people who have passed away and to convey their most sincere condolences to the bereaved families and communities.

The two organizations also wish to take this opportunity to highlight the exemplary mobilization of First Nations during the pandemic as well as the immeasurable contribution of essential workers. Combined with the security measures put in place by First Nations governments, these efforts have made it possible to effectively limit the spread of the virus within communities.

"Statistics speak for themselves: our actions have been successful and have helped us protect our populations as well as their health. Unfortunately, despite all our efforts, we have lost 11 brothers and sisters, including elders. True bearers of traditional knowledge, the contribution of elders to our societies is substantial. Their loss has major impacts both on our culture and our history," said Derek Montour, President of the FNQLHSSC Board of Directors.

"Today, we wish to express our solidarity in this struggle that we have all been waging for a year now. While we have learned many lessons that will guide our actions in circumstances as unexpected as they are drastic, the loss of loved ones is always a pain that we share collectively. Let's offer them today a thought that respects their memory," said Ghislain Picard, Chief of the AFNQL.

Live broadcast

A ceremony organized by the Government of Quebec, in tribute to the victims of COVID-19, will take place between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. in the forecourt of the Parliament Building. It will be broadcast on the Premier's Facebook page as well as on television. Chief Jean-Charles Piétacho, from the Ekuanitshit community, will be among the guests. A commemoration ceremony will also be held in Montreal, at Place Vauquelin, at which the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake will be represented by Chief Gina Deer, who will also participate on behalf of the AFNQL.

Some data since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic among First Nations in Quebec (as of March 9, 2021)

  • Confirmed cases: 564

  • Affected communities: 27

  • Deaths: 11

About the AFNQL
The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador is the political organization that brings together 43 Chiefs of the First Nations in Quebec and Labrador.

About the FNQLHSSC
The First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission is a non-profit organization that assists Quebec First Nations in achieving their health, wellness, culture and self-determination goals.

SOURCE Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador

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View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/March2021/11/c1469.html