WENDAKE, QC, June 21, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ - It is with great enthusiasm that the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) and the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission (FNQLHSSC) welcome today's adoption of An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families.
"The passing of Act 92 is a major step in the right direction for relations between our governments and the Government of Canada," said Ghislain Picard, Chief of the AFNQL. "It confirms the competence of our authority over child and family services and brings us closer to fully exercising our right to self-determination. We are ready to rise to the challenge and start transitioning, and we expect nothing less from the provincial government. This is a big day for our children."
"This is a major step forward for the rights of Indigenous children. Too many of them have suffered by being separated from their families or taken into ʻStateʼ care. We are now convinced that Indigenous families will be better supported and will benefit from quality services that are culturally adapted, namely in terms of prevention," added Derek Montour, President of the FNQLHSSC Board of Directors.
Several important principles are included in the Act, for example, a much broader definition of a child's best interests than the one provided in the Youth Protection Act. The Act also provides that a child may not be apprehended solely as a result of his or her socio-economic conditions.
Representatives from both organizations stated that, moving forward, the Government of Canada would be able to count on their full cooperation to ensure a smooth transition and an optimal implementation of the Act. They hope that the provincial government will encourage federal action in order to garner respect for the rights of Indigenous peoples at all levels.
About the AFNQL
The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador is the political organization that brings together 43 Chiefs of the First Nations in Quebec and Labrador.
About the FNQLHSSC
The First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission is a non-profit organization that supports the First Nations in Quebec and Labrador in achieving their goals in terms of health, wellness, culture and self-determination.
SOURCE Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador
For further information: Alain Garon, AFNQL, Communications Advisor, [email protected], 418-254-4620; Annie Brisson Proulx, FNQLHSSC, Communications, Web and Social Media Officer, [email protected], 418-842-1540, extension 2304, 581 748-0887