Government Commitments

Government Commitments to Truth and Reconciliation

Cabinet Shuffle: Crucial Issues for First Nations to Continue with New Ministers

July 26, 2023

NationTalk: WENDAKE, QC, July 26, 2023 – In response to the federal cabinet shuffle, the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) would like to remind Justin Trudeau’s government of the importance of continuing to advance certain crucial files, such as First Nations police services, housing and infrastructure as well as the implementation of the First Nations priorities contained in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (UNDRIPA) Action Plan.

“We would like to congratulate the new Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, the Honourable Arif Virani, and the new Minister of Public Safety Canada (PSC), the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, regarding their appointment and express to them our expectations regarding the collaboration initiated with their predecessors. These appointments must not create a delay in the progress of our files, but rather represent an opportunity to renew the dialogue aimed at improving the relationship between the governments of the First Nations and the federal government,” said the Chief of the AFNQL, Ghislain Picard.

For the AFNQL, the recognition of First Nations police services as an essential service is a key issue that deserves immediate attention and resolute action. A bill to this effect had been promised by ex-minister Marco Mendicino. Given Canada’s obligations under the UNDRIP Act (UNDRIPA) to align its laws with the UN Declaration, we urge PSC to seek a mandate to address First Nations jurisdiction with a view to ensuring maintenance of order under this legislation. “It is essential that the new Minister of Public Safety be fully engaged in the process of ensuring the recognition, empowerment and adequate funding of Indigenous police services,” affirmed Chief Picard.

The AFNQL is also determined to work hand in hand with the new Minister of Justice to ensure the implementation of the UNDRIPA and the resulting action plan. “Recognition of and respect for our inherent right to self-determination and self-government concerns us more than ever in the face of the imminent release of the Supreme Court of Canada’s judgment concerning An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families (Bill C-92),” asserted Chief Picard.

In conclusion, the AFNQL wishes to welcome the appointment of the Honourable Gary Anandasangaree as the new Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and underlines the fact that the Minister of Indigenous Services Canada, the Honourable Patty Hadju, will remain in her position, thus maintaining stability in several other important files. “I hope that these ministers will welcome the Prime Minister’s decision as an invitation to redouble their efforts to consolidate our relationship and strengthen our Nation-to-Nation relations. I would also like to thank the Honourable Marc Miller for his work with the First Peoples over the past few years,” concluded Chief Picard.
About the AFNQL

The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador is the regional political organization that brings together the 43 Chiefs of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador

For further information: Julianne Gagnon, Communications Advisor,, 418-719-0786