Bill 96 is of concern to the English-speaking communities of Quebec, but also to the Aboriginal peoples, the members of the Kahnawake community having, moreover, issued a warning to the government to demand an exemption.
“We must warn Quebec that there will be backlashes and ramifications if the bill goes forward as it does,” Grand Chief Kahsennenhawe Sky-Deer said in an interview with Global News.
Other indigenous leaders in the province have joined her in demanding this exemption from the bill, which plans to strengthen the Charter of the French language in Quebec.
According to them, forcing English-speaking students in their communities to learn French would be an additional obstacle when they already face systemic obstacles.
“We consider this to be an attack and a threat to our rights as people,” said the Grand Chief of Kahnawake.
The same goes for the director general of the First Nations Education Council of Quebec, Denis Gros-Louis, who believes that imposing Bill 96 is paternalistic. He would have tried several times to get in touch with the minister responsible for the French language, Simon Jolin-Barrette, in vain.
For Aboriginal leaders, this would be one more example of Quebec ignoring their concerns. They hope to be able to meet the Minister of Education, Jean-François Roberge, at the end of May.