MONTREAL, Aug. 29, 2018 /CNW/ - On a trip to Quebec, the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services, took the opportunity to visit the Algonquin communities of Lac Simon and Kitcisakik, before travelling to Wemotaci in Quebec's upper St. Maurice Valley.
During her visit to the Lac Simon community, the Minister was warmly received, notably by Chief Jérôme, the Council of the Anishnabe Nation of Lac Simon as well as the many young people who came to meet her.
Minister Philpott also visited the community of Kitcisakik to meet with Chief Pénosway and council. They discussed a number of social issues, including housing and infrastructure needs in the community.
"I am very fortunate to be able to meet with such welcoming people and to experience the vitality and resilience of these communities. The band councils here are dedicated to their members. They propose innovative projects and work hard to find solutions to their challenges to improve their social well‑being. I remain committed to working with and supporting them in this regard."
Minister Philpott also stopped in Val-d'Or, where she travelled to the Indigenous friendship centre to meet various local stakeholders.
Following her stay in Abitibi, the Minister travelled to the Atikamekw community of Wemotaci, northwest of La Tuque, to discuss priority files with Chief Néashit and the band council, including the issue of housing, training and connectivity.
"The community's youth gave me a warm welcome. I continue to believe that we must do whatever is necessary to support these growing and hopeful young people."
The Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, was also in the community.
"I am very happy that we spent the day in La Tuque and Wemotaci. We were moved by the reception the Wemotaci high school students gave us while sharing their ambitions. For them, and for future generations, we must continue to work together to improve the living conditions of Indigenous people and to find sustainable and culturally adapted solutions to the challenge they face."
In addition, the Minister had interactions with Indigenous organizations such as le Conseil de la Nation Atikamekw and the Indigenous Friendship Centre in Tuque that offer services to the region's Indigenous people.
The trip wrapped up with meetings in Montreal between Minister Philpott and First Nations representatives to discuss First Nations issues and the transformation of Indigenous Services Canada.
- The Wemotaci community is located on the north shore of the St. Maurice River, 100 kilometres northwest of La Tuque. On December 31, 2017, 1,474 members of the Atikamekw Nation of Wemotaci resided in and 495 resided outside the community.
- The Anishnabe Nation of Lac Simon is located on the west side of Lac Simon, 32 kilometres south-east of Val-d'Or, in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Quebec. It has 2,193 members, 1,731 of whom reside in the community.
- Kitcisakik is a community of 381 residents located in the northern sector of La Vérendrye Wildlife Reserve in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region.
- Nation Anishnabe du Lac Simon (French only)
- Nation Anishnabe du Lac Simon Profile
- Communauté anicinape de Kitcisakik Profile
- Conseil des Atikamekw de Wemotaci Profile
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SOURCE Indigenous Services Canada
For further information: Media may contact: Rachel Rappaport, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services, 819-934-2796; Media Relations, Indigenous Services Canada, 819-953-1160