Quebec invests $14M in adapted and more accessible justice for Indigenous people

Quebec is investing more than $14 million over four years to promote access to justice for Indigenous people, pledging to adapt to their reality rather than force them to adapt to the current system.

This vplan was laid out by Indigenous Affairs minister Ian Lafrenière, at a news conference held Monday morning. Lafrenière was accompanied by Justice Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette, Ghislain Picard, the Chief of the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec-Labrador, and Tanya Sirois, the Executive Director of the Regroupement des centres d'amitié autochtones du Québec (RCAAQ).

Quebec officials said the province is following up on several recommendations in the Viens Report, which was prepared at the end of the inquiry into relations between Indigenous people and certain public services.

With the investments announced Monday morning, Quebec said it wants to further develop Indigenous community justice and fight against the overrepresentation of this population in the justice system.

According to Chief Ghislain Picard, 25 per cent of inmates in Canada are Indigenous while they represent only 4 per cent of the country's population.

This money will be used to assist Indigenous people directly in their communities, as well as in urban areas, including hiring 'Gladue writers', who write pre-sentence reports taking into account certain factors specific to the difficulties experienced by these populations.

These changes are intended to give Indigenous people confidence in the Quebec justice system, officials said.

- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on June 7, 2021.

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