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October 16, 2020
MONTREAL — The signatories of this letter are the members of the Board of Directors and management of Puamun Meshkenu, an organization founded and chaired by Dr. Stanley Vollant whose mission is to inspire and support Indigenous students to chart their own path of a thousand dreams (“Puamun Meshkenu” in Innu). The organization encourages Indigenous youth to contribute to collective well-being with the support of their communities, and acts to promote healthy lifestyles, encourage school perseverance and promote reconciliation.
The last few weeks have been marked by mourning, denunciation, indignation, and political rifts.
With good reason, thousands of people have denounced the tragic end of Joyce Echaquan and demanded justice for her. There are also many voices demanding profound changes to combat systemic racism. We would like to echo these demands, while remembering that the first victims of this tragedy are her family, the community of Manawan and the Atikamekw Nation, to whom we offer our deepest condolences.