Viens Commission — The Québec Ombudsman weighs in on call-for-action follow-up

  • September 30, 2022

Québec City, September 30, 2022 – On the occasion of the third anniversary of the tabling of the report of the Public Inquiry Commission on relations between Indigenous Peoples and certain public services in Québec: listening, reconciliation and progress (Viens Commission), Québec Ombudsman Marc-André Dowd highlights the work done to date by his organization to ensure follow-up on the calls for action. He pointed out that in response to Call for action no. 138 and further to meetings and exchanges with the chiefs, leaders and representatives of Indigenous organizations, the Québec Ombudsman took the initiative to follow-up on the Viens Commission.

"It is with humility, respect and a listening-based approach that we have undertaken this large-scale mandate. We are happy to have the support of an Indigenous advisory circle and I want to underscore the crucial contribution of its members," said Marc-André Dowd.

Concrete means

The Québec Ombudsman has a four-person team dedicated specifically to Indigenous matters. Its role is to advise the institution and to assess Indigenous relations with Québec public services. The goal is to establish a clear vision of current issues and to report on how the implementation of the Viens Commission’s calls for action is faring. It therefore works to initiate fruitful dialogue not only with the advisory circle, but also with all Government of Québec departments and agencies, as well as with the various First Nations and Inuit authorities and organizations.   

The Québec Ombudsman’s first report on the progress made on the calls for action is slated for March 2023.

The follow-up carried out by the Québec Ombudsman further to the Commission also fuels its own thought processes and practices regarding First Nations and Inuit. In so doing, it affirms its desire to respect the principles of cultural safety and the rights and distinct character of First Nations and Inuit who live within the territory it serves.

As the parliamentary ombudsman, the Québec Ombudsman is aware of its responsibility to be thorough in its role with every population, including Indigenous communities. It intends to undertake various actions to improve its practices and better equip its staff in this respect.

On this National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Québec Ombudsman Marc-André Dowd wishes to extend his most sincere support to Indigenous communities and to pay tribute to the thousands of children who did not survive residential schools, as well as to all the survivors, families and communities affected.

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