Native chief invites Quebec premier to discuss abuse claims on Nov. 4 in Montreal

Native chief invites Quebec premier to discuss abuse claims on Nov. 4 in Montreal

Main pic: Assembly of First Nations interim National Chief Ghislain Picard takes part in a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 20, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick.

MONTREAL — The chief of the Assembly of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador is softening his tone towards the Quebec premier regarding accusations of gross misconduct of provincial police officers towards native women.

Ghislain Picard says he invited Premier Philippe Couillard to a meeting of native leaders in Montreal on Nov. 4.

Couillard says today he hasn’t received the invite, but would be open to a meeting eventually.

On Tuesday, Picard demanded Couillard meet with aboriginal leaders within 24 hours to discuss the case, which shocked many in Quebec and created tension between natives and non-natives in the town of Val d’Or, where the alleged abuses occurred.

Eight provincial police officers have been suspended following recent news reports of native women accusing officers of physical and sexual abuse in the town located 525 kilometres northwest of Montreal.

The investigation was transferred to the Montreal police and the premier said his government will add an independent observer to the oversee the probe.

Picard says the chiefs agreed they would like a monitor of their choosing to also keep tabs on the investigation.

The Canadian Press

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