(Quebec) In response to the legal challenge initiated by the First Nations, Minister Ian Lafrenière revealed Thursday that he will soon present “administrative solutions” to prevent Aboriginal students from being penalized by the new law 96 on the protection of the French.

“I’m open to hearing from people and we’ll find a solution. For this year […] we have found administrative solutions that we will be able to announce soon, “said the minister responsible for First Nations and Inuit in a press scrum.

Ian Lafrenière reacted to the filing by the Assembly of First Nations and Labrador (AFNQL) and the First Nations Education Council (FNEC) of an application for judicial review before the Superior Court of Quebec to challenge the Official Language Act and municipality of Quebec (law 96).

The “administrative solutions” mentioned by Mr. Lafrenière will affect the obligation for students in English-speaking CEGEPs to take three courses taught in French or French during their college studies. According to First Nations, this provision of Bill 96 adds a “barrier” for Indigenous students in communities where English is spoken.

They “are already making an almost superhuman effort to find the ancestral languages”, explained chef Ghislain Picard, in an interview with La Presse on Wednesday.

“I understand the issue they highlighted, among other things, for young indigenous people’s access to higher education, we are in solution mode, we have something that will be presented soon,” said the minister.

Minister Lafrenière will also consult the communities in anticipation of his bill to come next fall on Indigenous languages. This move follows the commitment of Premier François Legault, who promised during the election campaign to introduce “Bill 101” aimed at protecting Indigenous languages. The AFNQL is also asking Quebec to back down on this commitment.

“I understand the reluctance, I understand the fears because it is not usual to legislate in Aboriginal affairs in Quebec,” said the Minister. He explains, however, that if, as a government, “we do not give ourselves obligations, there will not be many changes”.

The application for judicial review targets a dozen sections of the new law. reappropriation” of languages.

The AFNQL specifies that it does not question the importance of defending French, but explains that “the right to self-determination and self-government in education is the prerogative of First Nations and not that of the provincial government. “.