By The Canadian Press on November 17, 2020.
MONTREAL – The Quebec government is creating a new political working group that will hold regular ‘nation-to-nation’ meetings with First Nations leaders on issues that concern them.
The announcement was made today by Indigenous Affairs Minister Ian Lafreniere and Ghislain Picard, the Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador, who will be the group’s co-chairs.
Picard says the working group will help advance issues such as Joyce’s Principle, which is a list of measures proposed by the Atikamekw Nation to ensure equitable access to health care for Indigenous people.
That document is named after Joyce Echaquan, a mother of seven who died in hospital in Joliette, Que., in September after filming staff using derogatory slurs against her.
Lafreniere and Picard say the working group will report directly to Premier Francois Legault and to the province’s Indigenous chiefs.
They say the specifics of what the group will do, who will sit on it and how often it will meet, will be decided in the coming weeks.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 17, 2020