Protection of indigenous cultures: If the CAQ is re-elected, a bill could see the light of day

A bill to protect and promote indigenous languages ​​and cultures across Quebec is in the pipeline and could see the light of day if the CAQ is re-elected in the next election, he learned The newspaper.

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“The question is: how do we keep them alive? There are several examples [d’actions] in Canada and elsewhere to draw inspiration from,” said Minister for Indigenous Affairs Ian Lafrenière, who will make the announcement today on National Indigenous Peoples Day.


Ian Lafreniere.  minister

Photo Agency QMI, Mario Beauregard

Ian Lafreniere. minister

communities consulted

The latter intends to consult communities over the summer to find the best way to do this within the law.

For example, these languages ​​could benefit from a special status while the culture could be further upgraded, he says, without wanting to impose solutions.

“Sometimes we don’t have the same tools, the same methods of doing things, but we have the same struggle and that is protecting AND French AND indigenous languages. If we don’t do anything [elles vont] be called to disappear,” claims the deputy caquiste of Vachon in an interview.

The minister’s recent tour of Quebec’s 55 communities was particularly affected by the loss of knowledge of Aboriginal languages.

“People have told me that it broke their hearts that young people no longer speak the language,” he says.

Statistics Canada estimated that there were approximately 50,000 speakers of indigenous languages ​​in Quebec in 2016, with Cree, Inuktitut and Innu being the most prevalent.

In the past, “there was a great desire to make these languages ​​and cultures disappear. It is not for nothing that communities are trying to reclaim them,” acknowledges Ian Lafrenière.

next meeting

The minister’s future draft law has to be tabled before the next parliamentary session after the October 3 elections.

His announcement comes a few weeks after the passage of Bill 96 – which aims to better protect French – a law that has sparked an outcry in certain Aboriginal communities.

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