On September 30, 2019, the Public Inquiry Commission on relations between Indigenous Peoples and certain public services in Québec: listening, reconciliation and progress, chaired by the Honourable Jacques Viens, released the report submitted to the government at the completion of its mandate.
In a call for reconciliation and a new balance of forces, the Commission's report puts forward 142 measures, several of which stem from findings that apply to all services investigated. One of these recommendations is the adoption by the National Assembly of a motion to recognize and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as well as the adoption of a law to ensure that the provisions of this Declaration are incorporated into Québec’s legislative corpus.
These two calls to action set the groundwork for all other proposed cross-disciplinary measures, from prioritizing Indigenous peoples in population research, to improving living conditions, removing language barriers to access, supporting and assisting the First Nations and Inuit in their relations with public services, and providing training and information for both citizens and professionals.
Specific recommendations were also made for each of the public services investigated by the Commission. These include:
- Granting Indigenous police forces the same status as other police organizations in Québec, and modifying the resulting financial resource allocation process;
- Concluding agreements on the creation of specific administration of justice systems with Indigenous nations, communities or organizations operating in urban areas;
- Developing an assessment tool specific to Indigenous offenders in correctional settings;
- Increasing access to many health and social services in both urban and Indigenous settings;
- A real commitment and support for the conclusion of agreements with Indigenous nations and communities on implementing a special youth protection program.
For the first time in Québec, the report also suggests implementing follow-up measures, the first of which entrusts the Québec Ombudsman with the responsibility to assess and monitor the implementation of all proposed calls for action until they are fulfilled. From a citizen watch standpoint, the Commissioner also recommended that the Commission's summary report be translated into Indigenous languages, and be used in a cultural mediation exercise that incorporates the oral tradition of Indigenous peoples.
For more information, consult:
To learn more about the topics addressed review:
- a series of summary sheets on issues of interest related to the mandate (french only)
We have now reached the end of the public hearings
The Quebec Inquiry Commission’s team would like to sincerely thank every individuals who shared their stories since April 2017.
Every story will directly contribute to mould the final report of this Commission, your commission.
You would still like to share your story?
Even though our investigation team is no longer opening new files, there are many resources available where you could share your story.