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News Release

Cabinet de la ministre responsable des Affaires autochtones

The government will invest $15 million to implement targeted actions to enhance cultural safety for members of First Nations and Inuit in the health and social services sector. The Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs, Ian Lafrenière, made the announcement today together with the Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé.

The cultural safety approach consists in recognizing and taking into account of the reality and culture of the person, in the delivery of services and in the care experience, in order to provide relevant services and as a result to improve service quality and access to these services. The cultural safety approach involves working with members of First Nations and Inuit in order to build a relationship of respect and lasting trust. The implementation of a culturally safe approach in the health and social services network will contribute to strengthening practices devoid of prejudice and to fighting against racism and discrimination.

This announcement follows several calls to action by the Public Inquiry Commission on relations between Indigenous Peoples and certain public services in Québec. One of the objectives targeted is to ensure service and program delivery in keeping with the principles of cultural safety, in a context of ongoing collaboration with Indigenous peoples. By aiming for cultural safety in health and social services, the government is thus providing a response to certain issues of accessibility and quality of public services.

Principal measures relating to the cultural safety approach in the network

Training will be provided to management and workers in the health and social services network to familiarize them with the concept of cultural safety.

Liaison officers will be added within institutions to provide relations with Indigenous communities and organizations, as one of the first steps in the process. Service navigators, preferably Indigenous people, will also be deployed in the field. The mandate of these people will be to guide and support Indigenous users within the care system, with a view to improving accessibility and continuity of the services provided.

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The developmental actions announced form part of an overall implementation plan that will be discussed and designed in the context of a dialogue between the Indigenous partners and the institutions.


"I am very pleased to announce a concrete action toward the cultural safety approach. Ongoing collaboration with the different Indigenous nations will certainly help us to provide culturally relevant services. We are determined to change things and to begin a new stage in our relations with the First Nations and Inuit. The development of an approach that responds to their needs and realities in the Québec health and social services network is the first in a long series of measures that ought to contribute to advancing in the fight against racism and to gaining the respect and dignity to which every person is entitled in public services."

Ian Lafrenière, Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs

"The developmental actions adopted by the government in the area of cultural safety for Indigenous peoples are an excellent starting point for the health and social services network. By relying on our relationships of proximity with the different groups and by mobilizing the expertise and knowledge of Indigenous workers, we are ensuring that services are provided properly to everyone, and that is the most important aspect. We are hard at work to create safe and inclusive environments, and to ensure that the sorts of dramatic incidents that we have recently seen are no longer repeated in our networks."

Christian Dubé, Minister of Health and Social Services

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