The bill was first tabled by Quebec's Minister of Indigenous Affairs, Ian Lafrenière, in December 2020, and it was passed following consultations between the government and Indigenous families in Quebec.
The goal was to meet the needs of Indigenous families while respecting their "culture and language, and also their suffering," according to the ministry.
The ministry also said it hopes "to support families in their quest for truth and also in the healing process."
In 2019, a report by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls called on the Quebec government to provide Indigenous families with information on children who had been apprehended following admission to a hospital or health centre in Quebec.
How does the new law work?
Once it's implemented on September 21, Bill 79 will give Indigenous families access to personal information from "a health and social services institution, an organization or a religious congregation" about the circumstances surrounding the disappearance or death of children admitted to a health and social services institution in Quebec before December 31, 1992.
The government will provide the information through exemptions to Quebec's current laws that prevent disclosing personal information.
Under the new law, Quebec's minister responsible for Indigenous affairs will also have the power to launch an investigation if government information could help Indigenous families, but can't be disclosed because of the province's existing rules on disclosing personal information.
How have Indigenous leaders reacted to the new law?
On June 14, leaders from the Cree Nation said that while the law is an important step to "apologize or begin to compensate for the harm suffered by Indian Residential School survivors," the scope of the law needs to be revised since Indigenous children "were taken and never returned" for reasons beyond medical care in Quebec.
The Cree Nation specified that Quebec's education system was the largest "pretext for the institutionalized abduction of children," and that the school system's absence from Bill 79 means more action is needed.
The Grand Council of the Crees stated that not all Indigenous youth or community members will feel comfortable contacting the Quebec government for help with traumatic events that were associated with "governments they do not feel are their own."
The Council recommended that Quebec put mechanisms in place so Indigenous governments can represent and serve the needs of their own people.
"We, the undersigned, demand that the Government of Quebec publicly reject, as of now, the idea of a mandatory vaccination passport and that it commit itself to do like the Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, has done, that is to say, prohibit the obligation to present a vaccination passport in order to attend certain events and practice certain activities," the petition states.
Samson, a former Coalition Avenir Québec member who switched sides in June, held a press conference about the petition alongside Conservative Party of Quebec leader Eric Duhaime on August 12. They explained that the party had already collected 133,000 signatures on a previous petition that did not meet the criteria of the National Assembly.
"We reviewed the wording [...] So we're going to ask these hundreds of thousands of people to re-sign their petition on the National Assembly website, and we're going to invite Quebecers who don't agree with the vaccine passport to come forward as well," Samson said.
The petition, which was posted to the National Assembly website on August 12, had garnered more than 75,000 signatures at the time this article was published.
Mary Simon's approval rating is lower in Quebec compared to the rest of Canada, a poll released Wednesday showed, because the new governor general can't speak French.
An Angus Reid Institute poll of 2,049 Canadians found only 49% of Quebecers approve of her appointment compared to 74% of respondents in the rest of the country.
"Despite being from Nunavik (the Inuit homeland in Northern Quebec), and having been awarded the [province's] highest distinction, many Quebecers remain unconvinced Mary Simon is the best choice for governor general due to her lack of fluency in French," stated the Angus Reid Institute.
"Support is cleaved along linguistic divides in the only majority Francophone province in Canada," it continued, as only 40% of Quebecers whose first language is French approve of her appointment compared to 81% of English speakers.
Though Simon, the country's first Indigenous governor general, is not currently fluent in French, she has promised to learn, Angus Reid stated.
From showcasing their culture to their art, fashion, music or lived experiences, these Indigenous creators in Canada are taking over TikTok for good reason. Are you following them yet? Because, if not, you should be.
First Pow Wow in forever! Felt so good to dance in Kanehsatake (Mohawk territory) ❤️🔥✨🙏🏾 #indigenoustiktok #powwowtrail #fancyshawl
Aïcha is an AfroIndigenous Wendat dancer and creator based in Quebec who expresses her distinct style through dance, showcasing traditional Indigenous dress for powwows, as well as her passion for beadwork.
Aïcha also uses her TikTok platform to teach her 225,000 followers about Indigenous slang, derived from English words.
I was honoured to model for @scottwabano and their debut collection! #nativetiktoks #fashion #indigenousfashion #foryou #curvemodel @bnmmodels
Lesley Hampton is an Anishinaabe and Third-Culture model based in Toronto who aims to make an impact on Indigenous communities through fashion.
Hampton's brand won the 2021 Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards' Fashion Impact award — and on TikTok, she said her fellow creators are collectively "shifting the industry, breaking down barriers, decolonizing fashion and rebuilding it to include ALL bodies."
Old style jingle special 😋 #indigenous #culture #jingledress
Michelle Chubb is a Winnipeg-based Nehinaw (Swampy Cree tribe and Buffalo Clan) TikTok influencer and jingle dress dancer. Chubb was showcased in Sephora's first-ever National Indigenous History Month campaign in June.
Chubb uses TikTok to stand up for Indigenous rights and showcase traditional dress, like her ribbon skirt and beaded earring collections.
Reply to @commonsenseplease2 thanks for giving me stuff to talk about with your bs #colonizerculture #colonizerscalledout #indigenoustiktok
Ashyaelizabeth is a Vancouver-based jewelry creator and TikTok influencer who's part of the Mistawasis Nêhiyawak Cree First Nation based in Saskatchewan.
She's the owner of Innerwolfjewelry and Innerwolftoothgems, showcasing her talents through Instagram as a jeweller while raising awareness for the lack of services available to remote First Nation communities via TikTok.
Kairyn Potts is a Two-Spirit comedian and Twitch streamer based in Toronto from the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation in Alberta.
Potts not only represents a community of Indigi-gamers on Twitch, but does so while creating Indigenous comedy on TikTok, raising awareness about Indigenous languages and shedding light on 2STok, a community of Two-Spirit creators on the app.
Kootoo Clarke's brand sells body butters, salves, balms, soaps and oils derived from Bowhead whale oil, Bearded Seal oil, Kamiik grease and Narwhal Milk. She also showcases Inuk culture on TikTok from Nunavut.