QNW reacts to the agreement between the Atikamekw Nation Council and the government of Québec
Kahnawake, January 30th 2018 – Québec Native Women welcomes the signing of the historic agreement between the Atikamekw Nation Council and the government of Québec, regarding article 37.5 of the Youth Protection Act.
This article authorizes the government “to enter into an agreement with a First Nation […] for the establishment of a special youth protection program applicable to any child whose security or development is or may be considered to be in danger within the meaning of this Act.” (Youth Protection Act, article 37.5) It is within this framework that the Système d’intervention d’autorité Atikamekw, a policy adapted to the Atikamekw-Nehirowisiw culture and values regarding youth protection, is now recognized by the government of Québec. This policy represents a valuable model of a cultural safety approach that protects the Atikamekw-Nehirowisiw culture and identity of children under the act. This will undoubtedly change the perspective for the future of children and their families in Atikamekw communities.
By signing this type of agreement, the government finally recognizes the governmental autonomy and self-determination of First Nations. Québec Native Women celebrates this decision, as we have tirelessly defended this issue in our claims related to the Youth Protection Act and policies affecting indigenous families.
“This is a historic agreement not only for the Atikamekw nation, but also for all First Nations, as it will definitely help other communities to develop policies that reflect the vision, values and cultural practices of First Nations,” states Viviane Michel, President of Québec Native Women.
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Source : Julia Couture-Glassco, Communication Officer
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