Today Canada celebrates Indigenous People’s Day, but reconciliation may be miles away in Montreal, as efforts have been blocked by Bill 96 – now Law 96. This law enacts French language reform laws across Quebec. Local 514 looks into how Law 96 has affected Kahnawake since the community ended communication with the Quebec government in response to Law 96.
Kahnawake residents can still operate their services in their language of preference, but those seeking education in CEJEPs on the Island of Montreal or elsewhere in Quebec will be required to take extra French language courses starting in 2024. Other services, such as healthcare, will only be accessible in French. Residents of Kahnawake say this hinders reconciliation efforts.
Local 514 investigates, inviting Post secondary distance counselor at the Kahnawake Education Center Bethany Douglas, Indigenous rights activist Kenneth Deer, Grand Chief of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, Michael Delisle, and Kahnawake resident Ranikonhriio Lazare to share their thoughts.