Atikamekw First Nation will take control over youth protection services after signing an agreement this week with Quebec.
“It’s a big accomplishment,” said Grand Chief Constant Awashish. “It’s one step further to self-determination; that’s the way I see it.”
The province’s minister of youth protection called the agreement historic.
“It’s important to underline that this (is) the very first Indigenous nation to have undertaken negotiations in this sense in Quebec,” said Lucie Charlebois.
In order to achieve this, the Atikamekw have been running youth protection programs in collaboration with Quebec since 2000.
Now that they have total control, Awashish wants to make sure troubled youth are placed with Atikamekw foster families.