2017-2022 Government Action Plan for the Social and Cultural Development of the First Nations and Inuit
QUÉBEC CITY, June 28, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, the Quebec government unveiled its first Government Action Plan for the Social and Cultural Development of the First Nations and Inuit for the period 2017-2022 with a budget of $147.3 million, to support more than 100 measures. It consolidates initiatives in both social and cultural spheres and proposes new measures. The open-ended action plan was elaborated in light of consultations and will be implemented in partnership with the Indigenous communities.
The government also made two other announcements. It has launched the $135-million Aboriginal Initiatives Fund III to support over a period of five years promising economic and community projects that will foster growth within the communities. The creation of a panel for the educational success of Indigenous students, a measure stemming from the Policy on Educational Success, was also announced. The panel mandate will be to find solutions to satisfy the needs of Indigenous students both from the standpoint of general education for young people and adults as well as occupational training.
In its Policy on Québec Affirmation and Canadian Relations, the government states that "Québec's identity is enriched by contributions from people of all origins while remaining closely attached to the continuity of its distinct, French-speaking character and to the historic contribution of Indigenous peoples." The Québec government clearly expresses its desire to harmonize their relations with the Indigenous peoples and develop them through cooperation.
"This initial action plan is a concrete commitment by our government to Québec's Indigenous nations. We wish to give them all of the tools possible to ensure that they continue to be dynamic, involved, creative, innovative communities. Since social and cultural development are indissociable from the economic development of communities, this new tool will go hand in hand with the new Aboriginal Initiatives Fund (AIF) to support economic projects. Together, let us make Québec an even more inclusive society that relies on the contribution that each individual can make."
Philippe Couillard, Premier of Québec
"I hope that this day will stand out in the history of relations between the First Nations, the Inuit and the Québec government. The extensive consultations conducted in recent years among the First Nations and Inuit have enabled us to implement this action plan, which will broaden and enhance services so that they are culturally adapted and reassuring for Québec's Indigenous peoples. What matters to me is that we do better and do more, but above all, that we act now. Moreover, I am proud to announce that we have decided to pursue our commitment to the economic and social development of the Indigenous communities by launching the Aboriginal Initiatives Fund III."
Geoffrey Kelley, Minister responsible for Native Affairs
"The initiatives that we are implementing in the coming years will enable us to better respond to the needs of communities and to draw closer together the justice system and a number of Indigenous communities and their members. I am convinced that our measures elaborated in collaboration with the Indigenous communities will contribute to enhancing access to justice and broadening participation in the construction of a fairer, more just society."
Stéphanie Vallée, Minister of Justice
"The measures proposed are aligned with the key directions in the Policy on Educational Success launched last week. Our main objective is to encourage the implementation of initiatives and projects aimed at educational success and student retention. I hope that Indigenous and Inuit young people will have access to all of the tools and services necessary to foster their success."
Sébastien Proulx, Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports and Minister of Families
The initiatives in the strategy are grouped under four strategic priorities:
- Enhance services – 57 measures;
- Promote the Indigenous cultures and languages – 12 measures;
- Develop the power to act of individuals and communities – 17 measures;
- Foster collaboration and research – 24 measures.
The Aboriginal Initiatives Fund III encompasses seven allocations given to:
- support economic development projects;
- invest in community infrastructure;
- offer loan guarantees to help Indigenous promoters finance their projects;
- help community organizations;
- encourage social development;
- support the cost of consultations in the Indigenous communities;
- support the Indigenous peoples in urban environments.
SOURCE Cabinet du premier ministre
For further information: Sources: Harold Fortin, Spokesman for the Premier and Director of Communications, Office of the Premier of Québec, 418-643-5321; Mylène Gaudreau, Press Officer, Office of the Minister responsible for Native Affairs, 418-454-1226; Isabelle Marier-St-Onge, Press Officer, Office of the Minister of Justice, 418-643-4210; Marie B. Deschamps, Press Officer, Office of the Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports, Minister of Families and Minister responsible for the Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine region, 418-644-0664