MONTREAL -- After Inuit children living in Montreal were found to have abysmal school attendance -- and no access to school at all, in some cases -- one of the hardest realizations was how simple it could have been to fix, said one of the authors of a new investigation into the problem.

Sometimes paperwork just needed to be filled out, said Yolaine Williams, an investigator at the Youth Protection and Human Rights Commission of Quebec.

"There could have been solutions, there could have been more advocacy -- they could have been going to school had the proper advocacy been done," she told CTV.

The Inuit children whose lives she studied were in the care of Batshaw youth protection, run by the local CIUSSS, and the Ungava Tulattavik Health Centre in Dorval.

They had been sent south to Montreal from Nunavik, but while in the city, their education went by the wayside, as well as their own opportunities to speak their mother tongue.

Williams found students missed school because they weren't given the option to study in one of their two languages, which are generally Inuktut and English.

"In my opinion it would be unconscionable to expect them to go to school in French," said Williams. "It would just add more trauma to their lives."

She's recommending now that they're allowed to attend school in English, that all documents be translated into Inuktut, and a third, main one, she says -- simply ensuring that all the bodies responsible for these children and teens talk to each other.

"I just… I don't understand why that wasn't done," she said.

Nakuset, the director of the Native Women's Shelter of Montreal, said there have been enough reports showing the same problems over and over in health and social services.

"The system is broken -- it needs to be fixed," she said.

She co-authored a 2019 study that found Indigenous families are subjected to racist attitudes by Batshaw staff, and that the agency had no Indigenous staff to work with Indigenous clients.

"If we are over-represented in the child welfare system, if the TRC is telling us it's the number-one recommendation, and [the] Viens Commission and Laurent Commission, when do we get an opportunity to be… considered a priority?" she said.

Youth protection authorities now have six months to implement the new recommendations.

In a statement to CTV, the regional health board says it has already implemented some of the recommendations in the Batshaw programming, including having elders on campus and incorporating traditional food into the meal plan.

The education ministry says it's also working on the issue for a quick resolution.