QUÉBEC CITY, Sept. 17, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ - Two years after the Public Inquiry Commission on Relations between Indigenous Peoples and Certain Public Services in Québec (the Viens Commission) tabled its report, the Québec government has taken steps to significantly change its procedures that are having an immediate, concrete impact on the quality of services that it offers the Indigenous peoples. Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs Ian Lafrenière today presented an interim assessment,  reviewed the progress of the government's initiatives, and focused on forthcoming stages.

The Viens Commission report affects numerous fields. In many instances, the desired changes are deep-seated and require efforts that must extend over several years. The government has acknowledged the need to energetically move forward. Accordingly, the Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs has implemented the J'ai espoir plan that ultimately calls for $200 million in investments, of which $125 million has already been committed. The measures implemented are having a genuine impact on the quality of life of the members of Indigenous communities. Above all, they prioritize the enhancement and perpetuation of funding, the enhancement of the quality of services, and cultural safety. In this way, the government has fully or partially responded to several calls for action. For the sake of transparency, the Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones is making public on its website the advancement of the initiatives.

While the government has undertaken major initiatives over the past year, this marks a step in the realization of the Viens Commission's calls for action. The government is determined to continue to work in consultation with the Indigenous peoples to ensure that the implementation of the calls for action reflects their needs. Since his appointment in October 2020, Minister Lafrenière has met frequently with Indigenous leaders. In the coming months, broader efforts will be focused on youth protection, the well-being of Indigenous women, and education, to ensure better representation of the history of the First Nations and the Inuit.

The Québec government also noted that a new Government Action Plan for the Social and Cultural Development of the First Nations and Inuit is being elaborated, since the 2017-2022 action plan is about to expire. The plan will afford the government an additional tool to implement the calls for action mentioned in the report of the Public Inquiry Commission on Relations between Indigenous Peoples and Certain Public Services in Québec.

"Since I took office, I have launched an action plan, J'ai espoir, and announced the implementation of several priority measures. This summer, I met with many chiefs from several communities and directors of organizations, with whom I engaged in frank discussions. As an example, we evaluated the progress achieved and discussed the next stages in our action plan. Much remains to be done, but I am hopeful. Our government is pursuing the initiatives undertaken with the Indigenous communities. The Viens Commission's calls for action will continue in the coming years to guide the government's initiatives."

Ian Lafrenière, Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs

Cision View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/September2021/17/c6224.html

Last update: September 17, 2021