Indigenous communities speak out, protest against Bill 96

As Bill 96 moves forward, First Nations leaders say that the Government of Quebec has ignored their requests to exempt Indigenous communities from it, reports CBC. The leaders shared their concerns over the bill’s disproportionate impact on Indigenous students and called on QC to respect the distinctness of Indigenous communities in the province. “To put another burden, of a third language for us to have to learn and be proficient in, when we’re trying to revitalize our Indigenous language — after all these Indian Day Schools, Indian Residential Schools, and all the things that happened to our people — it’s a challenge,” said Kahnawake Grand Chief Kahsennenhawe Sky-Deer. John Martin, chief of the Mi’kmaq council of Gesgapegiag, cautioned QC to consider how education has been used against Indigenous people in the past. “If our communities are going to be able to flourish, education is a key component, but remember also that education has been used as one of the key factors in the assimilation of our people and the destruction of our cultures and the destruction of our languages, and that is why this government needs to sit down and listen to us,” said Martin.

CBC | St Albert Today