(Montreal) Indigenous Women of Quebec (FAQ) will hold a major summit next week for the future of the defense of the rights of Indigenous women in the province, in Quebec.

An event that “marks the history of indigenous women,” says Marjolaine Étienne, president of FAQ.

Several decades ago, a group of women who had lost their indigenous status mobilized to regain it. It was this mobilization that led to the creation of FAQ in 1974. The organization is therefore based on the defense of the rights of indigenous women.

“Major issues have arisen over the 50 years, including forced enslavement, recognition of systemic racism, and missing and murdered women,” says Ms. Étienne.

The major summit, which will take place from Monday, May 13 to Thursday, May 16 at the Hilton Québec Hotel, will celebrate 50 years of FAQ, its former presidents and all the people who have contributed to helping the organization.

“It’s an event that was requested by the indigenous women of Quebec,” says Ms. Étienne.

More than 160 indigenous women from all indigenous nations are expected for the event, which will allow them to discuss their realities and their ideas for the future.

Education, health and wellness, mother tongue and culture, and governance will be topics discussed next week. These are “very collective issues,” assures the president.

For a better future, the big summit will first look at the past. “We look at the past, we take stock together, here and now.”

For the next 50 years, Marjolaine Étienne wants the issues affecting Indigenous women to be taken care of by them and for them. This will raise awareness of their realities, which “will ensure that our organization will be able to implement possible solutions.”

Ms. Étienne also highlights the importance of improving the living conditions of Indigenous women, both in their communities and in urban areas.

“After half a century of existence, FAQ wishes to take the time to appreciate all the progress made for the well-being of women since its creation, while preparing for the future,” we can read in a press release sent by the organization.

The opening ceremony will take place Tuesday morning. The provincial minister responsible for the Status of Women, Martine Biron, will accompany Marjolaine Étienne, president of FAQ, to launch the event.

“The major summit will constitute a major forum for reflection and discussion for women from all First Nations across Quebec as well as various actors from all spheres of society,” it is written in the press release.

“Results and possible solutions” will be presented Thursday by Marjolaine Étienne and the federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Gary Anandasangaree, before a closing ceremony which will celebrate Indigenous culture, among others.

By organizing this event, Quebec Native Women wishes to become aware of the situations of Indigenous women in Quebec, identify “priority issues”, and “propose possible solutions to these issues and strategies to put them in place”, it is said. written in the press release.