Current Problems

Education (6-12)

Indigenous Students Say Law 14 Puts Their Education at Risk

June 5, 2024

NationTalk: A group of Indigenous CEGEP students are speaking up about the harmful and unjust effects of Law 14 on Indigenous young people and their communities in Quebec.

Law 14, formerly known as Bill 96, aims to promote and protect the French language in Quebec. As of September 2023, all CEGEP students in anglophone colleges must take more French courses. Students who do not hold a certificate of English eligibility must also take the highest level of college French courses to prepare to pass the Épreuve uniforme de français, which is required for them to graduate from CEGEP.

Many Indigenous students do not have a certificate of English eligibility and are subject to the full consequences of Law 14 on their post-secondary education unless they can obtain an exemption, which represents another bureaucratic hurdle to their success. They are a diverse group of students, and many arrive at English colleges with low-level French or no French.

There are an estimated 300 or so Indigenous students in the anglophone CEGEPs in Quebec, which is higher than ever before. Subjecting them to Law 14 creates a significant barrier for these students to access post-secondary education.

Anglophone CEGEPs in Quebec – Dawson, Champlain Saint-Lambert, Heritage, John Abbott and Vanier – are calling on the government to conduct deeper consultation and propose solutions to Indigenous community partners.