Batshaw isn't taking indigenous report seriously, its authors say

Batshaw Youth and Family Services has ignored a report highlighting its lack of awareness of indigenous issues, the report's authors have said.

In Nov. 2019, researchers released a report: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back, critical of the way Batshaw handles cases involving indigenous families. Since then, the report's recommendations have not been implemented according to the report's authors.

"Yes, they might be uncomfortable, but we're not saying anything in this report that they don't already know," said Nakuset, executive director of the native women's shelter, who worked on the report. "We're not making stuff up."

The report found that a lack of translation services is a barrier to services for indigenous families, especially Inuit. It also found little awareness amongst First Nations in Quebec and indigenous peoples in general. Blatant calls to improve care for indigenous families were "not on the radar" of provincial decision-makers, the report found.

Batshaw has refused to meet with the report's authors since it was released, the authors said. They will be discussing their report this week with the Laurent commission, which was established after a young girl died in Granby.

In a statement, the organization that oversees Batshaw, a spokesperson from the health ministry said: "It is the priority of the Montréal West Island IUHSSC to provide care and services that meet the needs of its clients. This is equally true at all of our facilities, including Batshaw Youth and Family Centres."

"It is important to note that the Montréal West Island IUHSSC and the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services (NRBHSS) have signed an agreement to strengthen the continuity of services offered to young Inuit and to improve their cultural security," the statement continued.

The IUHSSC would not comment on the report because it is being studied.

A training session for staff is scheduled for this month that will focus on indigenous history, the agency added.