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No question for Quebec to exempt indigenous students from French language requirements

Photo: Graham Hughes The Canadian Press According to Minister Jean-François Roberge, the government has already been accommodating by allowing Indigenous students to choose courses at their level.

Isabelle Porter in Quebec

Posted at 11:47 a.m. Updated at 3:54 p.m.

  • Quebec

The Legault government persists and signs. Indigenous students who attend CEGEP will have to take courses in French or fill out a form to be exempt.

“The exemptions we have given are completely reasonable”, declared the Minister responsible for the French Language, Jean-François Roberge.

According to him, the English-speaking CEGEPs which make this request must “be reconciled with reality » and “are not well informed of the requirements” of the Quebec government.

Five English-speaking CEGEPs wrote to Prime Minister François Legault to urge him to completely exempt students from requirements of Law 96 regarding French. These constraints, they say, risk pushing these students to move to Ontario or abandon their studies.

Two indigenous groups are also contesting these obligations in a legal action against the government of Quebec.

Also read

  • Anglophone CEGEPs urge Quebec to exempt Indigenous students from Bill 96
  • Bill 96, an obstacle to Aboriginal success ?

Law 96 requires students to pass at least three French courses.

According to Mr. Roberge, the government has already been accommodating by allowing natives to choose courses at their level. “How could we say that we are exposing them to failure when the French courses they will have to take are based on a prior evaluation of their level?” he asked.

“A plan A” rejected by the AFNQL

Students who have resided on a reserve for at least one year are entitled to an exemption. However, they must complete a form to benefit from it. An approach to which they object in principle.

Questioned about the possibility of no longer exempting them from this form, members of the government also rejected this avenue on Wednesday.

The Minister of Native Affairs, Ian Lafrenière, defended the government by emphasizing that another approach, “a plan A”, had been rejected by the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL).

“Plan A was a specific law to protect indigenous languages ​​and cultures,” he said. “This is not the avenue that was chosen by the AFNQL. »

Recharged on this subject, the head of the AFNQL, Ghislain Picard, restricted his comments in order not to interfere in the legal proceedings launched by his organization. He still wanted to respond to Minister Roberge and his comments on the so-called “disconnected” demands of CEGEPs. “Go meet the indigenous students. Be transparent, talk to them! » he said. “The State really imposes its ways of doing things, its ideology, on the First Nations and that cannot resonate with us. »

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116