Improving Quebec's relations with Indigenous people will take a long time: minister

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Quebec's Indigenous Affairs Minister Ian Lafrenière says the provincial government is working to improve services for Indigenous people, but he concedes it will take a long time.

Lafrenière made the comments today in Quebec City, two years after retired Superior Court justice Jacques Viens issued 142 recommendations for improving relations between Indigenous people and certain provincial agencies.

Lafrenière says the government is now working on 68 of those recommendations, up from 51 a year ago.

He asked the public not to focus on the numbers, because while some recommendations, such as making apologies, were easy, others require legislative change or discussions with the federal government.

Lafrenière says $125 million of the $200 million earmarked for improving relations has been committed so far.

He says three priorities have been identified through discussions with the leaders of 30 Indigenous communities: youth protection, the well-being of women and education.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 17, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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