Quebec names ex-journalist to help Indigenous families find answers on missing kids

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QUEBEC — Former journalist Anne Panasuk says a new Quebec law will allow Indigenous families to get closure about their missing children.

Panasuk, an ex-Radio-Canada journalist who reported on missing Indigenous children in Quebec, said today in an interview Bill 79 offers the necessary tools for families to get concrete answers about missing Indigenous children in the province.

Indigenous Affairs Minister Ian Lafrenière said Tuesday the government had named Panasuk as a liaison between the government and Indigenous families who request information about missing loved ones.

Bill 79 was adopted on June 3 and it allows Indigenous families to obtain information on the disappearance or death of children admitted into a health or social services institution in the province before December 1992.

Lafrenière said he hopes Panasuk's experience working with First Nations communities will not only help the government implement Bill 79 but contribute to the process of reconciliation between the state and Indigenous Peoples.

Panasuk, who is also an anthropologist, was one of the first journalists in Quebec to report on missing children in Indigenous communities and says she was regularly denied access to information from the government during her reporting.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on June 9, 2021.

The Canadian Press