Indigenous children Quebec

Mural by Dolly Deals

Quebec to provide answers for families of missing Indigenous children

A bill has been tabled in response to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Quebec Indigenous Affairs Minister Ian Lafrenière tabled a bill today to authorize the communication of personal information to the families of Indigenous children who went missing or died after being admitted to a health or social services institution. This bill comes in response to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (NIMMIWG), and in the wake of the wrongful death of Joyce Echaquan in a Joliette hospital in September.

The NIMMIWG documented the disappearance, abduction or undocumented death of sick Indigenous children in Quebec and across the country, mostly in the 1970s but also in the 1980s. The report incorporated at least 24 disturbing stories from Innu and Atikamekw families in this province, particularly on the North Shore and Haute Mauricie.

The bill will provide access to information for Indigenous individuals or families who lost children to Quebec health care and social servics institutions up to 1989.

“We are opening up the books. The Bill is a move toward openness and transparency that is absolutely necessary and without precedent. I sympathize deeply with the families that have had no news of their children for so long. Situations like this leave a deep scar, and I hope that their search for information, and the support they will receive thanks to this new law, will bring some peace and comfort.”

—Ian Lafrenière

For more about the bill, please visit the Quebec government’s Indigenous affairs web page.

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