‘I think everybody’s listening’: Chiefs in Quebec get ready to sit down with province

APTN News (Canada)
Pub Date: 
Wednesday, November 18, 2020 - 06:51

Quebec’s Indigenous Affairs Minister says he’s committed to making one announcement a week until Christmas to concretely address the findings of the Viens Commission Inquiry – something his predecessor was criticized for lagging on.

Sylvie D&;Amours was replaced as Indigenous Affairs minister by Lafreniere in mid-October after an outcry from chiefs in Quebec over the lack of progress throughout her two-year mandate.

“We had almost like a two-year void, where more often than we would like, we were forced to react,” Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief Ghislain Picard told reporters on Tuesday.

“It’s never a comfortable position to have to criticize or be on the offensive,” Picard added.

The latest announcement made by Lafreniere on Tuesday morning involved the creation of a new political working group to hold regular “nation-to-nation&; meetings with First Nations leaders on issues that concern them.

Premier Francois Legault is personally agreeing to meet more regularly with the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) for a “political roundtable” on Indigenous issues, according to Lafreniere.