Canada, Nova Scotia and First Nations in Nova Scotia to begin discussions on First Nations child welfare



    MEMBERTOU, NS, June 27 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Jim Prentice,
Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor
for Métis and Non-Status Indians, the Honourable Judy Streatch, Nova Scotia
Minister of Community Services and Minister responsible for the Disabled
Persons' Commission Act, the Honourable Michael Baker, Nova Scotia Minister of
Finance and Aboriginal Affairs and Chief Lawrence Paul, President, Mi'kmaw
Family and Children's Services of Nova Scotia today announced that their
respective governments have agreed to work together to introduce early
intervention/prevention services for First Nations Child and Family Services
on reserves in Nova Scotia.
    "I feel confident that by working in partnership with provinces and First
Nations, we can achieve many important concrete improvements in the delivery
of child and family services for First Nations children and their families,"
Minister Prentice said. "This is an area that requires immediate attention and
will have an impact on our collective future as Canadians."
    On April 27, 2007, INAC entered into a partnership with Alberta and
Treaty First Nations to implement a new approach to First Nations child and
family services that is based on early intervention and prevention. Over the
next year, the First Nations Child and Family Service agencies in Alberta will
implement the Alberta Response Model which has proven successful in both First
Nations and non-First Nations communities.
    The Honourable Judy Streatch said, "We owe it to the First Nation
children and their families to strengthen early intervention services and
supports so children can continue to remain with their families whenever
possible." The Honourable Michael Baker stated, "This is a tremendous
opportunity for the provincial and federal governments to work alongside the
First Nations community to ensure we are providing children and families
quality programs and services that are easy to access."
    "We are looking forward to working with the Province of Nova Scotia and
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada to improve conditions for our First Nations
children and youth" said Chief Lawrence Paul. "It represents an opportunity
for Canada and Nova Scotia to join us as we travel a path to healing and a
better way of life, beginning with our youth."
    "Canada's New Government is committed to working with First Nations,
provincial and territorial leaders to improve the living conditions of First
Nations people," stated Minister Prentice. "We are proud to continue to
support First Nations in developing healthy, prosperous communities."

    This news release is also available on INAC's Website at www.inac.gc.ca




For further information:

For further information: Deirdra McCracken, Press Secretary, Office of
the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, (613) 997-0002; Joan
Glode, Executive Director, Mi'kmaw Family and Children's Services of Nova
Scotia, 1-800-263-8686, (902) 758-3553; Allison MacLellan, Senior Policy
Advisor to Minister Judy Streatch Department of Community Services, (902)
424-7618

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