Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press The Minister responsible for Relations with First Nations and Inuit, Ian Lafrenière, presented on Sunday the start of the campaign, the objective of which is to “build more bridges” between the various Aboriginal communities and the Quebec people.
“Between nations, we gain by getting to know each other”: this is the watchword of the campaign to raise awareness of Aboriginal realities, which aims to arouse the interest of the general public in discovering the 11 Aboriginal nations of Quebec in order to to eradicate racism and discrimination.
During a press conference held Sunday morning in Montreal, the Minister responsible for First Nations and Inuit Relations, Ian Lafrenière, presented the beginning of the campaign, whose objective is to “build more bridges » between the various Aboriginal communities and the people of Quebec.
« We must remove this term, “Aboriginals”, as if it were a monolithic block. 55 communities are 55 realities. There are as many individuals – 110,000 people – as there are different realities”, he stressed during the press briefing.
Accompanied by the Minister responsible for the Fight against Racism, Christopher Skeete, and Médérik Sioui, collaborator and member of the Huron-Wendat Nation, Mr. Lafrenière said he was “extremely proud” to unveil “a first stage” of the project, adding that reconciliation was the job not of one person, but of the whole government.
“This campaign will respond directly to the recommendations of the Anti-Racism Action Group and will strengthen ties between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities in Quebec. This is the first step in a major societal project, on which I intend to work actively with all of my colleagues and my counterparts over the coming years,” he said in a press release. .
The Minister responsible for the fight against racism indicated that this issue was “a priority” for the government, adding that this work goes above all “through education and mutual recognition”.< /p>
“We want to allow rapprochements and the discovery of the other as a solution to the prejudices and mistrust that lead to discrimination. The campaign is a direct response to recommendation number 14 of the Anti-Racism Action Group's Zero Tolerance report,” Skeete added.
This Anti-Racism Action Group (ACAG) recommendation ) called for the inclusion of a “specific component on the realities experienced by Indigenous peoples, with the aim of constantly informing the public about racism and discrimination experienced by First Nations and Inuit”.
“Our government will continue to invest massively to achieve the ideal, which is a more inclusive, tolerant, open and richly diverse society,” concluded the one who is also Minister Delegate for the Economy.
Under the co-chairmanship of Lionel Carmant and Nadine Girault, the GACR was made up of Ian Lafrenière, Christopher Skeete, as well as Denis Lamothe, MNA for Ungava and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister responsible for Aboriginal Affairs, Sylvie d'Amours , MNA for Mirabel and Isabelle Lecours, MNA for Lotbinière-Frontenac. In December 2020, the group published the Tolérance Zéro report, which offered recommendations to fight discrimination in Quebec.
Ian Lafrenière is still in discussion with the Innu with the aim of conclude negotiations started 40 years ago. The three communities of the Petapan Regrouping have expressed optimism that a first modern treaty will be adopted before the March 31 deadline.